Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Golden celebration for Rochester couple

Rochester’s Faye and Len Latter celebrated their golden anniversary recently

RENEE THOMPSON January 7, 2014 4:39am

Faye and Len Latter.


The day Rochester couple Len and Faye Latter tied the knot was a stinker.

The couple, who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, were married at Christ Church Church of England in Echuca on December 21, 1963.

‘‘Don’t talk to me about climate change. The day we got married it was 102°F (39°C) in the shade,’’ Mrs Latter said.

‘‘Thank God for tablecloths and fanciness across the front of the dining table. I had the wedding dress up on my knees to keep cool.

‘‘The men all had to take their jackets off, it was that hot. It was a stinker.’’

The wedding reception was held at the old Karibbean reception centre behind St Mary’s Church, Mr Latter said.

‘‘It was one of the flashiest places you could get. It was booked up until that date,’’ he said.

Mrs Latter, from Koyuga, was 17 and Mr Latter was 19 when they met in Tongala – Mr Latter’s home town.

Mr Latter recalled he managed to overcome his shyness to ask her out on a date shortly after.

‘‘I used to go back home to Tongala and I saw her walking up and down the street one day and I thought, ‘She’s not bad’,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m shy but I got the courage to ring up and asked her to the drive-in at Echuca, which I thought was very romantic. She accepted for some reason.’’

After getting married, Mr Latter worked as a technical officer for the State Rivers and Waters Supply Commission, while Mrs Latter was a telephonist for a while and also worked at Simplot as a tomato processor for a few years.

The couple have three children, Philip, Alison and David, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, who all live locally.

‘‘It makes for noisy Christmases,’’ Mrs Latter said.

Mr Latter joked that the family lived so close it was hard to find reasons to go further afield.

“If someone lived in Queensland, we’d have an excuse to go up there for a week or something,” he said.

“But when they’re only 200m away, or just over the river, you don’t get to go far.”

Their anniversary is always a busy time for the Latters.

“There’s our wedding anniversary, then one day, then David’s birthday on December 23, then one day, then Christmas,” Mrs Latter said.

Though the house has changed, the couple still live in the same spot in Rochester they have lived in since they got married.

Mr Latter said the early days of married life were tough and the house they originally lived in was basic, but it made their relationship stronger.

“When we both got married we had nothing. This was a little old house with no hot water and there was an outdoor toilet because we didn’t have sewerage in the town,” he said.

When asked about the secret to their relationship, the couple agreed it was about give and take – even about a good argument from time to time.

“It comes down to give and take and you must have trust,” Mr Latter said.

“As you get older you mellow. You don’t argue near as much. But whenever I hear someone say ‘We’ve never had an argument’, I laugh every time,” Mrs Latter said.

Mrs Latter said long-lasting marriage seemed to run in her family.

‘‘My nanna and granddad were married for 50 years,” she said.

“There have been two interviews in local papers this year with people who have been married 60 years. Both of them are my cousins.”

A letter from Member for Rodney Paul Weller congratulating the couple on their golden anniversary was the icing on the cake for Mrs Latter.

“I’m thrilled to bits,” she said.

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