“I USED to drive her brothers to the football games and she used to sit in the back of the car.
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“She was so shy that I was surprised when I first heard her voice,” said Dallas Callaghan of Karuah about the first time he asked Carol Ridgeway out.
That was way back in 1959.
Carol lived on Karuah Mission with her family and Dallas lived three kilometres up the road on a remote acreage with his thirteen brothers and sisters.
On September 17, the couple will be celebrating 60 years of marriage.
“I can still remember our wedding day. It only seems like yesterday,” Carol said.
“How quickly the time has gone”’
Listening to the story of what has happened over the 60 years is, as you would expect, a tale of inspiring highs and lows.
Highs revolve around family; including five children, fourteen grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren.
The couples biggest low was the loss of their youngest son Billy in 2016.
“I think the secret to marriage is to do things together,” said Dallas, sitting on an old chair in the morning sun unconsciously massaging his right knee.
“I find it hard to walk these days. That’s because of my work in the bush as a timber cutter.
“There were stinking hot days where I would be cutting and barking pit props and Carol would be right there with me, swinging an axe and getting the job done,” said Dallas.
“I didn’t mind working hard,” Carol said.
There is quiet for a minute or two as she reflects.
“I think the secret to marriage and to life really, is about never giving up,” Claire said, looking at Dallas with a smile.
“Sometimes we get on each other’s nerves but I never get sick of waking up with him by my side.”
Dallas looks away in embarrassment but it is obvious he feels the same.
“And enjoying simple things together,” Carol continued.
“I think that has been a good thing as well. Yesterday we went fishing and as usual, I caught the most fish,” said Carol laughing.
“She always catches the most fish,” Dallas said, flashing a cheeky smile.
“She might catch the most fish but when we married, I reckon I got the best catch.”
Carol shakes her head and the love and affection they still share is obvious, and inspiring.
By Paul CALLAGHAN