Married 66 years and still in love
By LUIS FELIU
MOUNTAIN View Retirement Village residents Don and Patricia Hopper celebrated a special milestone yesterday which few people have the honour of achieving.
The happy pair have enjoyed 66 years of marriage, and to mark the occasion they renewed their wedding vows.
The second exchange of vows for the happy octogenarian couple was witnessed by almost 60 guests at Mountain View Retirement Village.
Their four children attended the reception in the Murwillumbah retirement home.
Mr Hopper, 87, a World War II RAAF veteran and retired master mariner, and Mrs Hopper, 84, were first married at St Andrews Church in Lismore on August 1, 1940.
"We thought we were getting on a bit and that it might be nice to do it after all these years," Mrs Hopper said.
Mrs Hopper said the recipe for a long marriage was pretty simple.
"It just happens," she said.
"You have your ups and downs but eventually you get there together."
The couple's eldest son Wal, down from the Sunshine Coast, said his parents were quite lucky to have made this milestone.
"Not too many couples make it to 66 years of marriage," he said.
He joked, saying that the second wedding was "really mum's excuse to get the family together again".
"This is the first time the great grandparents have been together with their four children for about 10 years," he said.
Family members travelled from near and far for the event, with younger son Stephen, who will take up his new prestigious job as director of the famous Kew Gardens in London later this year, travelling from Perth.
His sister Kerry came from Gympie and his other sister Anne from Robina.