Local couple Annie and Arthur Darlison recently marked their 65th wedding anniversary with a celebration surrounded by friends and family at the Bundaberg RSL.
The couple, originally from Scotland, have 10 children, 26 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.
Their daughter Nicola Dunbar said her parents first met in 1956 but as her father worked in the merchant navy, they were only able to see each other a handful of times before they decided to get married.
“They had planned to marry in July 1958 and by that time hadn’t seen each other for over a year,” Nicola said.
“Unfortunately Dad missed his lift home on one of the company’s ships that was on its way back to Scotland, so they had to postpone the date until 15 December 1958 with Dad only arriving one week before the big day!”
Arthur fell in love with Australia after travelling there for work and took five years to convince Annie to relocate with their three children at the time (Margaret, Peter and Judith).
“They travelled by plane and arrived in Australia in 1963 which only cost ten pounds to bring the family of five over,” Nicola said.
“They were part of the ‘ten pound poms’.”
The Darlisons settled in Queensland where Arthur worked as a fitter and turner, starting in Brisbane and then moving to Gladstone, before becoming a highly qualified engineer at a bauxite and alumina operation plant in Nhulunbuy.
They also had seven more children: Nicola, Arthur, Patricia, Antony, Andrea, Justine and Katriona.
“During that time on two occasions Mum travelled to Bundaberg which was now where her parents and younger sister and two brothers had moved to from Scotland, following them to live in this beautiful place called Australia,” Nicola said.
“But in the year we changed to metric measurements, they decided that ten children was enough!”
The family moved to Bundaberg in 1976 where Arthur took on roles in many different jobs to support his growing family until retirement.
“In retirement years they travelled around Australia while working at the Sydney Easter Show, the Ekka and the Country Music Muster selling Akubra hats,” Nicola said.
“Now they are 86 years old and taking life as it comes, knowing that they have done a darn good job of bringing into this world ten loving, compassionate, faithful, strong humans.
“They are grateful to have a family that can now look after them as they once did for their children.
Nicola said that according to her parents, the secret to a long and happy marriage is to ‘always ask for forgiveness’.
“Oh and Dad always has to have the last word and it’s usually ‘Yes Annie, whatever you say!” she said.