Lovebirds to celebrate diamond jubilee

ELISIA SEEBERSound Telegraph

Sitting in the backyard of their Safety Bay home, Joan and Bill Simpson looked at each other with years of love in their eyes.

The couple will celebrate their diamond jubilee anniversary tomorrow at the Leisure Inn, and reminisce on the past 60 years.

Mr Simpson, 85, and Mrs Simpson, 80, shared a life full of navy travel adventures and had four children before moving to Australia, from England, and settling in Safety Bay in 1968 to begin a new life.

Mr Simpson said nowadays the two could almost read each others minds.

“I’ll ask ‘what are we going to have for dinner tonight’ and she’ll say something and I’ll say ‘I was thinking about that’,” he said.

The couple agreed the recipe to a good marriage included “trust and persistence”.

“You have to handle things, talk them through, work them through and, if the determination is there to make it stick, it will,” he said.

Speaking as if it were yesterday, Mr Simpson said the couple met in a pub in Dartford, in Kent, while he was on leave from the navy in late December 1952.

“I was in there with a merchant navy friend of mine and three girls arrived quite chirpy from the night-nurses Christmas party, and we met and had a few drinks,” he said.

Mr Simpson said the two hit it off and continued to keep in touch over the next two years.

In 1954 Mr Simpson built up the courage to ask for Joan’s hand in marriage and they wed in a cathedral in Northamptonshire, Joan’s home town, with a quite reception, before honeymooning in Portland.

During the couple’s early years of marriage, the two were often separated with Mr Simpson at sea for up to 18 months at a time, only keeping in touch through letters and holiday visits.

Mrs Simpson said their love had grown deeper over the years, and she enjoyed the adventures of living in Malta and Malaya.

“I wouldn’t contemplate a life with anyone else,” she said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails