ARTHUR and Juin Battle recently celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary, surrounded by their family and friends in Bulahdelah.
Reflecting on 60 years of marriage, Juin revealed the secret behind their very happy union.
“It’s simply lots of love and understanding, and sticking together through all the ups and downs,” she said.
Juin first laid eyes on Arthur in a café in Manilla in 1956, when she was just 16-years old.
“Some mutual friends introduced us,” Juin said.
“My first thoughts were that he was tall, handsome and someone I could see myself sharing a lot of years with.”
Love blossomed, and Arthur proposed very traditionally, a short time later.
“He got down on bended knee and asked if I would marry him, of course I said yes,” Juin said.
“He asked my parents for permission and they had no problems, they were very happy.”
Arthur and Juin were married on 13 April 1957 at the Methodist Church in Manilla.
Juin’s sister Nola Coote was bridesmaid and Arthur’s brother Hiram Battle stood beside him as best man.
Juin said the reception at Manila’s Namoi Park consisted of, “sandwiches, a cake, one box of beer and a single bottle of port”.
The couple spent two years travelling while Arthur worked as a timber cutter, and lived in an “auto tent”, which Juin describes as a “small, mobile canvas home”.
Moving to Bulahdelah in 1965 to care for Arthur’s elderly father, they took up residence on a property in Rosenthal.
Locally, Arthur worked for Great Lakes Shire, a position he held until he retired 25 years later.
Reflecting on many happy memories, Juin said sharing their lives with their three children, Wayne, Angela and Graham, was one of the highlights.
“We are also very lucky to have 12 grandchildren and six great grandchildren who we love and adore,” she said.
Although Arthur now resides at Great Lakes Nursing Home, Juin travels from the family home every day to be with him.
“We have always done everything together, and have always been together,” Juin said.
By John SAHYOUN