60 years and still in love
IT WAS a chance meeting at a friend's birthday party in 1950 that began a lifelong romance for Arthur and Valda Cooper of Grafton, who yesterday celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a quiet lunch and champagne at the GDSC.
Arthur said he got talking to Valda when they were seated next to each other at Neville Hackett's 21st birthday and not long after met Valda again at local dances.
"We used to go dancing three to four nights a week," said Arthur.
"We danced at the Trocadero and the Criterion Hall and we used to go the movies at the Old Garden Theatre and Saraton," Valda said.
"He was always very attentive and always looked after me."
The couple were engaged for two years before they were married at St Mary's Cathedral, Grafton on April 19, 1952, two days after Arthur's 19th birthday.
"We had a small wedding reception at Arthur's family home in Queen St and then went to Lismore by train and the Gold Coast by bus to stay in the Southport Hotel, only to meet another couple of newlyweds also from Grafton who were staying in the other honeymoon suite," Valda said.
Arthur and Valda have two sons, Stephen and Terry, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
The secret of a happy relationship, according to Arthur, is to understand that there will be ups and downs.
"The best thing I can say is to never go to sleep having an argument," said Valda, adding that the other secret to a good marriage is to keep busy and spend plenty of time apart.
Arthur and Valda Cooper will officially celebrate their diamond anniversary in Fiji next month, when they plan to meet up with family and friends.
"Our grandson is getting married in Fiji so we thought we'd combine the two events," Valda said.