Woodford couple Edna and George Oakes celebrate their diamond anniversary on December 20, and they’ve already received a message of congratulations from the Queen.
The couple met at an Easter church camp at Albion Park (near Wollongong), washing dishes, Mrs Oakes explained.
Both the children of church missionaries, they were born in Papua New Guinea, and decided to return there to live for many years. Mr Oakes was a patrol officer – which involved everything from work as a magistrate to police officer – and Mrs Oakes a teacher. They had three children in PNG – Wesley, Denise and Stephen.
They moved to Sydney in 1975 and have been in the Blue Mountains since 1993.
The key to a successful marriage was spending quite a bit of time apart, Mr Oakes joked. “And I call her the boss,” he said.
“You have to learn to give and take and remember your please and thank yous and say sorry occasionally,” Mrs Oakes said.
The couple are both 84, and will have a celebratory afternoon tea on the big day, and a formal celebration with family and friends a month later when all the Christmas festivities have finished.