At Doutta Galla Footscray, Valentine’s Day was celebrated by 10 couples who have been married for over 50 years, and true to tradition, each husband presented their wife with a long-stemmed rose and a big smooch to celebrate their decades together.
Doutta Galla Aged Services Chief Executive Officer, Mark Anderson, said it was inspiring to see so many couples who have made a life’s journey together.
“When you consider today the median length of marriage is now around 12.3 years, to share seven decades of marriage together is astounding,” he said.
Mr Anderson said, although trends show marriage is on the decline and divorce rates were up 4.7 percent in 2009, Doutta Galla was home to many couples who have found the key to lifelong love.
“Charles and Jean celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in December and have known each other since they were 14 years old; Maria and Ervin have been married for 63 years after meeting at an American Officers Club in Germany in 1946,” Mr Anderson said.
Maria Mahaly said her husband, Ervin, first caught her eye working as a painter’s assistant at the American Officers Club.
“We got married in 1948 and we celebrated our 63rd wedding anniversary last Wednesday. Ervin has always been a great provider and an excellent handyman, doing all sorts of jobs around the house,” she said.
Mrs Mahaly has some advice for the would-be lifelong valentines considering marriage today.
“The secret to a good marriage is give and take – although we women always have to give a little more! The trick is to make the husbands believe they’re the ones making the decisions!”
Lloyd Bowen, who has been married to his wife Dulcie for 60 years, added that the secret to a long-lasting marriage is to do what your wife tells you to do.
“Patience and cooperation is the key,” he said.
Staff at Doutta Galla Footscray surprised residents with a magnificent chocolate cake featuring all ten couples’ names and wedding dates. Some hit the dance floor, re-living memories of when they first met and danced the night away.