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Jim and Val celebrate 70th wedding anniversary

 Jim and Val Baulch 70th wedding anniversary
Jim and Val Baulch recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary, proudly displaying a photo from their wedding day on 15 April 1954. Photo: Natasha Harth

Bundaberg locals Jim and Val Baulch celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this week surrounded by friends and family.

The couple marked the occasion on 15 April with a special celebration at the Bundaberg Pioneer Aged Care Facility followed by a visit from Bundaberg Mayor Helen Blackburn today.

The couple moved to Bundaberg in 1960 where Jim worked as a teacher at East State School and West State School and Val worked in Blacks Departments Store and as a teacher aide at Walkervale State school.

Val reminisced on how they first met at a children’s fancy dress ball where Jim was working as one of the primary school teachers helping with the event.

“I’d never seen him before but he was the most handsome boy I’d ever seen in my life,” Val said.

“Instantly my eyes popped open and I thought, ‘Oh he’s so lovely’ and a girl next to me said, ‘They didn’t make school teachers like that when I went to school’ and we agreed on that one!”

The two met up again at another local event where Jim offered to walk Val home.

“He must have liked me and I liked him and right from then it was on.”

The couple were married in Biloela in 1954 and went on to have their daughter Michelle and son Murray.

“I was so excited when [Michelle] arrived, I said to my husband ‘I could run down the main street and tell everybody,” Val said.

“Three years later, I went to my doctor and said ‘I could be pregnant again’ and it was my boy, my lovely son.”

A lovely life together

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Val Baulch with Mayor Helen Blackburn. Photo: Natasha Harth

The two continued their work in education before enjoying their retirement together, including visits from their four grandchildren.

“Jim loved to garden and the garden was his main interest, a beautiful garden,” Val said.

“We didn’t travel much but we went to Tassie and New Zealand and travelled Australia a bit.

“We’ve had a lovely life together.”

When asked what the secret was to such a long and happy marriage, Val’s answer was simple.

“I first of all have the loveliest man in the world who was always so nice to me and always treated me like I was someone special,” she said.

“We knew that you can’t always have your own way, you’ve got to give and take and I think that must have been the secret.

“I’ve always loved him and I still do.”

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