Humour key to 70 years of marriage

Albert Mann, 96, and his wife Gracie, 91, celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary at the Immanuel Garden Nursing Home.
Albert Mann, 96, and his wife Gracie, 91, celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary at the Immanuel Garden Nursing Home. Warren Lynam

THE legs might not work as well as they used to, neither do the ears, and the memory is not as reliable as it used to be, but a sense of humour has not deserted Albert and Gracie Mann.

The Buderim couple chuckled their way through their 70th wedding anniversary celebrations this week.

A smiling Mr Mann, now 96, remembered quickly volunteering to accompany a mate to a dance when he realised that the young woman he had his eye on was going to be there.

"When I heard she was going to be there, I thought I'd better go," he said.

The girl with the beautiful eyes lived on the road between the Melbourne soft drink factory where he worked and the eatery where he bought his lunch every day.

They married three years later on March 21, 1942, at St Peter's church in nearby Eastern Hill.

Times were tough during the war years and the couple did not buy their first car, a Ford Prefect, for more than 14 years, so Mr Mann, a long-distance cyclist, rode his pushbike everywhere.

Mrs Mann, 91, laughed off suggestions from her relatives at the celebration that her husband doubled her on his bike. "We walked a lot," she reassured them.

Asked about the happiest times of their married lives, Mr and Mrs Mann laughed more as their son, Dennis, and grandsons Jamie and Brendan each nominated their own entrances into the world.

The couple lived most of their lives in the Fitzroy and Collingwood areas before moving to the Sunshine Coast to be closer to Dennis and family in 1992.

Mr Mann now lives in the Immanuel Gardens Nursing Home while Mrs Mann is up the hill in the hostel, but they manage to catch up twice a week.

The couple had not wanted a fuss made for their 70th anniversary but Mr Mann eventually agreed it had been worth turning up to.

The next milestone on his agenda is his centenary. He plans to hang on until at least 100 so he receives a letter from the Queen.

Topics:  marriage opinion

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