A Wagga couple have celebrated their Diamond Anniversary after 60 years of marriage.
Margaret and Albert Jolly met by chance in 1955 at a ball in Sydney.
“Albert was a Merchant Navy Cadet engineer, and the Captain of the ship was invited to a ball, but when he came back and told the boys and Albert that they were going, they all said ‘well we can’t go we haven’t got partners’,” Mrs Jolly said.
“But the Captain said ‘Don’t worry about that, I’ve got a sister who is a Matron at the hospital’, and the Matron then came to us and said ‘You, you, you and you are going to a ball’.
“So I went, I met them all, even Albert, and nothing impressed me, and I never thought anymore about it, but then the Matron invited them back to the hospital afterwards and gave them a big party, and Albert lost his cap there.”
Mrs Jolly said she soon found out whose hat it was and returned it to him, and that’s when Mr Jolly began writing to her.
“It was just writing, I’d never had a pen friend before, and I’d never gone outside the box of where I lived and worked, and so we ended up corresponding for three or four years,” she said.
Mr Jolly said they got engaged soon after but had to part when he returned to Scotland.
“We continued writing the whole time though, and Margaret soon came to Scotland to see me,” Mr Jolly said.
Mrs Jolly added she was always intending on travelling to Europe and seeing Mr Jolly fit in with her plans.
“Two of my friends and I had always planned to go to Europe to travel around, and when I was writing to Albert I decided I’d go up to Scotland where he was and see him while I was in Europe,” she said.
“When I was on the train with my two friends, I’d only just thought about the fact that I was about to meet my potential mother-in-law and I was so nervous she wouldn’t like me, but she was so lovely and I stayed with her and got a job there, and we married a year later in 1959.”
After a few years in Scotland, the couple decided to return to Australia.
“We moved back to Australia sort of out of the blue really, Albert would always talk about how great it is and how lovely the weather is and all of that, and of course I realised how cold it was and some of the miserable days you have where it’s overcast, and that was it really,” Mrs Jolly said.
Mr Jolly agreed that it was a spur-of-the-moment decision.
“That was it really, there was no discussion about it – I just said we’re going back to Australia, and we did, which suited both of us,” he said.
The couple said their 60th anniversary was spent quietly with friends.
“We haven’t done much to celebrate our 60th, neither of us really thought about it actually it sort of came and went, but we ended up having a few catch-ups with some friends,” Mrs Jolly said.
When asked what their secret to a long, happy marriage was, the pair said there was no hard and fast way to answer.
“I don’t really know what the secret is to a long and happy marriage, but I guess back in those days when you got married, you knew it was for life, and that was something that was very important to both of us. We knew it was permanent,” Mrs Jolly said.
“Albert’s mother would always say to us, ‘Once you decide to get married, I don’t want either of you coming back here and complaining about the other’, so we accepted that.”
Mr Jolly added communication is key.
“Well I think whenever we had problems, we’d sit down and nut them out and accept the fact we had a responsibility for our families and for each other, and when we had a problem we would solve it,” he said.
“And we still do.”
Mrs Jolly said it is hard to believe they have come this far.
“It’s gone quickly when I look back, but looking back and remembering how I thought ahead then, I think I dismissed the idea that I was ever going to get this far,” she said.