Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Love at first sight for Allan

Allan and Betty Gray celebrate 60 years of marriage.

JENNA BISHOP February 14, 2014 4:59am

Numurkah couple Betty and Allan Gray have been married for 60 years.


Numurkah couple Allan and Betty Gray believe every day should be considered as special as Valentine’s Day.

It’s a belief which has served them well — they’ve just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

The couple usually enjoys a quiet day at home in each other’s company to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Mrs Gray said historically the day did not have a great deal of significance for the couple.

‘‘We never really knew much about Valentine’s Day,’’ she said.

‘‘It was never a big thing for us.’’

‘‘Valentine’s Day is just like any other day, it’s just as beautiful as all the others,’’ Mr Gray said.

‘‘I think every day should be Valentine’s Day.’’

In their 60 years of marriage, Mr and Mrs Gray have discovered some of the secrets to making their marriage a success.

‘‘You’ve got to be tolerant and you’ve got to listen and talk about things,’’ Mrs Gray said.

‘‘You’ve got to be understanding.’’

Mr Gray said the couple had been fortunate to share 60 years together.

‘‘I think we’re very fortunate to be here. We get to have a life together and be happy together and keep well,’’ he said.

‘‘I think we’re blessed.’’

The fact they were married on February 6, near one of the most romantic days of the year, was a coincidence — it was best time that worked around Mr Gray’s commitments on the farm.

The couple met at a dance at Numurkah RSL hall when Betty was 16 and Allan was 19.

Mr Gray said he spied Betty across the hall and it was love at first sight.

‘‘Betty showed up, we had four dances, then I walked her home and that was the start of it,’’ he said.

‘‘I suppose every bloke is looking for a nice girl, and every girl is looking for a nice bloke.’’

They married seven years later in 1954 and had four children — Keith, Melissa, Carolyn and Peter. They also have three grandchildren in Melbourne, who they speak to regularly.

Mr and Mrs Gray share a love of artistic pursuits — Mrs Gray’s stained glass artwork can be seen across town, while Mr Gray is a keen music enthusiast and was involved with Numurkah Town Band.

‘‘The band reformed in 1945 ... we played the soldiers home at the station when they arrived back home after the war,’’ Mr Gray said.

Mr and Mrs Gray celebrated their special anniversary with about 90 close friends and family at Numurkah Anglican Church’s Hamon Parish Centre on Saturday.

Congratulations from international dignitaries are on display in their lounge room, with letters from the Queen, Prime Minster, local MPs and friends recognising the milestone.

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