Bill and Marie Oram celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.
Bill and Marie Oram celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

Couple reveals secret to success after 60 years of marriage

Marie Schick moved to Bill Oram's home town of Baralaba when she was nine but it would be nearly a decade until she met him, her future husband.

For most of the years Marie attended school, Bill was away at boarding school.

Besides, she was a "townie" and he, living merely miles out of town, a "country lad".

It was after she spent a year away at college that they met during a social club outing.

"There was a shortage of teachers so we did one year's study and were sent back to our home town," Mrs Oram said.

"They figured we were too young to teach without supervision.

"Bill's younger siblings were in my classes."

The couple laid eyes on each other at a Junior Farmers (later Rural Youth) club, members of which met once a week to play tennis table or travel to other areas as part of the debating club.

 

Marie and Bill Oram married at Baralaba on June 11 1960
Marie and Bill Oram married at Baralaba on June 11 1960

 

The pair began courting at a time when social dances were all the rage.

"We'd drive my Morris ute, or my Dad's Vanguard, out to Moura or Banana, it didn't matter how far," Mr Oram said.

"We'd get home in the morning just hours before I had to get up and milk the cows."

They wed on June 11, 1960, a day which Mrs Oram remembers as being "really cold".

"I was the second eldest of 15 children and the first in my family to get married so, walking into the church, on my Dad's arm, I just remember being so happy to see all my family together," Mrs Oram said.

"And they were all quite musical so my family sang hymns that day."

Mr Oram bought another property the other side of the Dawson River from his family, and the couple settled in for the ups and downs of life on the land, grazing cattle.

Mrs Oram had their first seven children - one more came some years later - in the first nine years of marriage and her husband went out to muster for other farmers when times got tough.

By the time she returned to teaching, their youngest was in Year One, the eldest in Year 10, and her husband had a part-time job as the school's groundsman.

 

A Christmas family reunion for Bill and Marie Oram and their extended family
A Christmas family reunion for Bill and Marie Oram and their extended family

 

Their children - four boys and four girls - went to boarding school to finish their senior studies.

After they were able to retire, the Orams bought a house in Norman Gardens but left it almost immediately for a grand trip around Australia in their motorhome.

"We travelled over 70,000 kilometres," Mrs Oram said.

"We loved driving along the coast through New South Wales into Victoria, and then across the Nullarbor and up the west coast."

Now they've got 25 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren to add to the brood, the Orams put their relationship down to hard work and faith.

"We're very religious people which kept us going during the bad times," Mrs Oram said.

"We still love each other very much and we have a wonderful, close family.

"About four years ago, we had all the children together for Christmas and all but three or four grandchildren.

"We had about 45 people spread out around the table out on the verandah, everyone happy to be together, and, after 60 years, you can't ask for more than that."



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