65th ANNIVERSARY: Love, trust and little bit of magic
AS CELEBRATIONS for Christmas and New Year approach, many are looking forward to the prospect of spending time with family, friends and loved ones; to reflect on times gone by and to make plans for the future.
One Rockhampton couple in particular will be reflecting upon decades of Christmas and family celebrations gone by and looking forward to those yet to come.
This Christmas will be the 65th that Peter and Heather Rothery enjoy together as husband and wife.
Peter and Heather recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary and say that one of the things they treasure most about their years together is the close family they have established and the lasting friendships they have made along the way.
Peter and Heather met on February 11, 1950, at a dance at Dululu. They were married nine months later on November 11, 1950, Peter aged 23 and Heather 20, in the then prosperous gold mining town of Mt Morgan.
Ben Littleton drove the bridal car and Bert Grice drove the excited groom to the wedding. Best man was Trevor Saunders and bridesmaid was Louis Young.
Once married, Peter and Heather moved to their farm, known as "Good Hope", in Pheasant Creek near Wowan, where they lived and worked together for 19 years and had their five children - Greg, Ray, Kelvin, Jeff and Jenny.
Due to the family getting larger and years of bad drought, Peter and Heather sold the farm in 1969 and moved to Rockhampton where they have now lived for 46 years.
When asked, Peter says he's not sure what the key is to a lasting marriage, but ask any one of their children, grandchildren or friends and they'd tell you it's true love, made up of mutual respect, trust, patience, friendship and a little bit of magic.
To quote Peter from his impromptu speech made at the anniversary celebration: "I'd like to thank Heather for putting up with me all these years. If I had another 65 years to live, I'd like to spend it with her.
"It's a long time, 65 years. If you look forward, to 2080, it is a hell of a long way away, but when you look back, which you do, to 1950, it doesn't seem so far. You wonder where it's all gone.
"We're thankful for all that we've had. Thank you for putting on this celebration, but we better not wait 65 years for the next one, we might not be that lucky."
Peter and Heather received a letter from the Queen in recognition of their 65th anniversary.