Maggie and Gordon Wheatley celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary yesterday.
Maggie and Gordon Wheatley celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary yesterday.

No signs yet of the 70-year itch

By EMMA CORNFORD

ACCORDING to Maggie Wheatley, the secret to a long marriage is not spending too long with one another.

It may seem like an odd take on a lifelong union, but Maggie would know ? she and her husband Gordon have just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

Surrounded by family members and a large cake yesterday, Maggie declared she never expected her marriage to last 70 years.

"Would you? No, I never expected it at all. You never know how a marriage is going to work out."

And it wasn't just the 70-year milestone they were celebrating ? it was also Maggie's 88th birthday.

But they didn't marry on her birthday to make the anniversary easy to remember ? 'it just happened like that'.

After they married, the couple moved to the mud hut property at 13 mile lane on Woolgoolga Road, where they had their only child, Evelyn.

They later moved to Armidale Road where they have lived ever since.

Gordon's work as a timber cutter meant he spent little time at home, but when he was he'd often play cricket.

"Mum used to call him the cricket crank because he'd play competitive cricket. We'd come into town once a fortnight and dad would play and do the shopping all at once," Evelyn said.

Although life was hard for the Wheatley's, the couple would sometimes go to dances in the area.

"We'd go to dances but only if they were held near us. Gordon was a good dancer."

So does Maggie expect she and her husband will make it to an 80 year anniversary?

"I'm not worrying about it. But you never know."



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