ANNIVERSARY: Betty and Harry Layton today celebrate 70 years of marriage.
ANNIVERSARY: Betty and Harry Layton today celebrate 70 years of marriage. Jarrard Potter

Storm a good omen for Harry and Betty

FOR the superstitious, it's said to be a bad omen if there is a storm with thunder and lightning during the ceremony.

While a large storm raged the night of their wedding, it's safe to say that Betty and Harry Layton have proved the omen wrong, with the couple celebrating 70 years of marriage today.

Even after spending most of their life together, it's clear they still share a sense of humour.

"Everyone says how good Betty looks, and it's only through me looking after her, breakfast in bed nearly every morning," 91-year-old Harry laughed.

"If you put that in the paper I'll have to keep him to it," Betty quickly added.

Harry was born and raised near where the couple live now across the road from Dougherty Villa, while Betty lived on a farm in Newbold.

It was by chance that the two met at a dance in the Guide Hall in Grafton.

"The girl that I went dancing with, she was trying to chase my brother, and I finished up dancing with Betty and that's how it all started," Harry said.

The couple were married in St Luke's Church, one of three generations to be married there before it was demolised, with Harry's parents the first couple married there in 1923, and their daughter Gayle one of the last ones in 1971.

Harry and Betty first lived in Alice St, before work took Harry out to Wooli.

"I worked at the dairy company for about 20 years, and I went through bacon curing and then into butchering," Harry said.

"Then John Attwater opened a butcher shop in Wooli and I went out there to help him three days a week and ended up staying 18 years.

"We started in a double decker bus, then finished up in a caravan then built a house out there."

90-year-old Betty worked at the Wooli Hotel, as well as Grafton Base Hospital and as a volunteer at Dougherty Villa for close to 20 years until about three years ago.

The couple will be celebrating the anniversary with family and friends on Saturday at Joan Muir Hall.



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