A SPECIAL night out with family was the perfect way for Jack and Thora Ireland to celebrate their wedding anniversary last weekend.
The Bulahdelah couple, who took their vows in 1944, said the secret of their very happy union is simply love.
“The whole time we have been together we have never stopped loving each other,” Thora said.
“His loyalty and love are the qualities I admire the most.”
Thora first laid eyes on Jack at a local tennis tournament when she was 13-years old.
“I saw him getting out of the car with his racket and thought that’s the man I’m going to marry,” Thora said.
Jack and Thora’s first date to the Bulahdelah Show, where they “just walked around together”, was the start of a long and happy partnership.
Jack said when he proposed, he was delighted that Thora “said yes straightaway”.
“At the time, I was earning eight shillings a day, I don’t know how I saved for the ring, but I did,” Jack told News Of The Area.
Wedding plans were put on hold during World War II, when Jack was conscripted in 1942.
He then enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force and married his young bride during three weeks of leave, before returning to active service.
Following the war, Jack and Thora lived in “the eating booth at the showground” while building their home, which they still live in today.
After 73 happy years of marriage, Jack and Thora’s advice to newlyweds is to never remain angry.
“Always make sure that you resolve any issue before you go to bed,” Jack said.
Jack and Thora, who are now both in their 90s, have eight children, 23 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
By Daniel SAHYOUN