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Cobram couple celebrate 73 years of marriage

William and Florence Sullivan have marked an amazing milestone — celebrating their 73rd wedding anniversary this month.

RANDALL JOHNSTON AND SIOBHAN JACKSON November 22, 2012 5:00am

William and Florence Sullivan celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary on Saturday.


William and Florence Sullivan have marked an amazing milestone — celebrating their 73rd wedding anniversary this month.

It was June 1932 when Mr Sullivan arrived in Cobram looking for work on local orchards and it was also when he met the woman he would spend more than seven decades with.

‘‘I hadn’t been here for very long and I met Floss and her family. I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight, but there was definitely interest,’’ he said with a laugh.

‘‘We met through friends — Mr and Mrs Watt. We used to go there and play tennis on weekends.’’

Mr and Mrs Sullivan were married at St Margaret’s in 1939. Only a short 14 months later, Mr Sullivan joined the Australian Army and served in Darwin during World War II.

He was away for four years.

During this time, Mrs Sullivan moved to Melbourne to stay with her family.

Once Mr Sullivan returned from the Army, they had their two children Collin and Robyn and raised them in Cobram.

Mr Sullivan worked as a motor mechanic and a bailiff for the water board.

In the 1950s and 1960s he wrote a sports column for the Cobram Courier.

Both of their children have now moved away — Collin lives in Perth and Robyn lives in Port Macquarie.

Mr and Mrs Sullivan have eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren with number five on the way.

‘‘We don’t get together too often but it’s nice when we do,’’ Robyn said.

‘‘They’re a very sweet couple.’’

Mr Sullivan is now 94 and Mrs Sullivan is 98 and living at Irvin House. Her husband visits her every day and has only missed three days in the five years she has lived there.

Mr Sullivan said there was one key to a long and happy marriage.

‘‘You have to remember the question you were asked at the altar on the day — do you promise to stick by each other in sickness and in health, in good times and bad ... and we have. We always will,’’ Mr Sullivan said.

‘‘I love her very much.’’

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