HomeCommunityPeopleJim and Margaret Deem celebrate 65 years married

Jim and Margaret Deem celebrate 65 years married

Jim and Margaret Deem
Margaret and Jim Deem are celebrating 65 years of marriage.

When Jim threw a bottle cap into Margaret's soft drink at a 16th birthday party, it put the wheels in motion for a love story that has blossomed over 65 years.

Wednesday 20 April 2022 will mark the Deems' blue sapphire celebration, a milestone they admitted they never thought they would reach.

“Out of our group of couple friends we were actually voted least likely to succeed!” they laughed.

It was an instant attraction between Jim and Margaret from the moment they met each other as teenagers.

“I was at my cousin's 16th birthday, which happened to be just a few weeks after my own, and Jim was there and he threw a bottle cap into my drink so that caught my attention,” Margaret said.

“It was a pretty good shot, I think,” Jim laughed.

Jim and Margaret Deem
Jim and Margaret Deem on their wedding day 65 years ago.

“We began seeing each other when I turned 17 and we had to wait until we were 21 years old before we married at Christ Church in Bundaberg,” Margaret said.

While their love has remained strong over 65 years, the couple said their life together had not been without its challenges, especially during the early years.

“We did it tough. I had no money, I had no apprenticeship or skills and Margaret was earning more than I was,” Jim said.

“When we first got married we bought a house but it only had a wood stove, no fridge, no washing machine – nothing.

“That was life back then, we didn't know any different.”

Family a highlight of Jim and Margaret's love story

Soon after they were married, the couple welcomed their first child Bruce, then Susan and Paul.

They have five grandchildren and one great grandchild that they said lit up their lives.

“I think one of the main things for us is the love of our family.

“We are all so close and we keep in contact all of the time,” Jim said.

“Even our grandchildren will ring us up out of the blue about once a week.”

Jim and Margaret Deem
Jim and Margaret with their family.

Reflecting on their life together, the couple said the key to their successful marriage was all about working as a team.

It's a rule they have maintained throughout their 65 years and as part of Jim's heavy involvement in Bundaberg cricket, with Margaret by his side as his biggest supporter.

“I have been involved in cricket for 60 years of my life,” he said.

“I honestly think you have got to be patient, understanding and try to be interested in their hobbies which is certainly what I did with Jim and his cricket,” Margaret added.

Special moments that last a lifetime

Offering up advice to others, the duo said it was important to savour the good moments and to remember that not everything was always simple when it came to marriage.

“Anybody that says the first few years are easy are very lucky, because it is not easy, you have to get used to one another!” Margaret said.

“It's pretty amazing how fast the years go,” Jim added.

“It felt like only yesterday we celebrated 40 years, then 50 years and now 65 years.”

As for their feelings for one another, more than six decades on from their wedding day, the couple said things were as good as ever, except for a few hearing issues.

“There are so many things I love about Jim,” Margaret said.

“What, don't you love me?” Jim exclaims after mishearing her response.

“I don't love that he has gone deaf, that is a bit of a pain!” Margaret laughed.

Jim smiles and looks over at his wife with a twinkle in his eye.

“I love her for being her, you can't get better than that!”

Jim and Margaret Deem
Jim and Margaret are celebrating 65 years of marriage.