Love advice shared from more than 300 years of marriage

Dawn and Ray Lehner (left) with Con and Cecilia Veraart celebrate their lifetime love at Bethesda Caring Centre, Corinda.
Dawn and Ray Lehner (left) with Con and Cecilia Veraart celebrate their lifetime love at Bethesda Caring Centre, Corinda.

IF you are looking for advice on how to keep love alive, these are the people to turn to.

With more than 300 years of marriage between them, six couples from Bethesda Aged Care Community in Corinda are living proof that love can persevere.

For Valentine's Day, five of the loved up couples shared why living together still "meant everything" and gave their simple advice for a lifetime of love.

Bethesda centre manager Vicki Lea said the loved up cohort was rare for an aged care home as "nature is not usually that fair".

Residents Desmond and Barbara Vantwest met playing bingo in Sri Lanka.

They have celebrated 66 Valentine's Days since being married.

Barbara and Desmond Vantwest have been married 66 years.
Barbara and Desmond Vantwest have been married 66 years.

Celia Veraart caught the eye of her husband Con while she was cleaning his mother's windows close to 70 years ago.

They still made each other a priority.

DCon and Cecilia Veraart celebrate their lifetime love.
DCon and Cecilia Veraart celebrate their lifetime love.

"When couples are together they are happier and healthier," Ms Lea said.

"We can learn so much from our couples about life, love and commitment. To spend a lifetime together and then be apart is heartbreaking so it is a priority for us to pull out all stops to allow them to be together as much as possible."

The centre recently put on a candlelit Valentine's dinner for its six married ­couples to enjoy.

"We often set up a dining table so they can enjoy a special birthday or anniversary meal alone," Ms Lea said.

"Staff will make sure that the husband has a bunch of flowers and a signed card at the ready for these occasions when he is unable to get this himself."




Godfrey & Dot Havig

Married 50 years

"Work hard and don't give up. It will be what you make it."


Alex & Claire Bowles

Married 49 years

"Make time to tell each other that you love each other every day. Treat each other special and with respect."


Ray & Dawn Lehner

Married 58 years

"Be understanding. We tried it and it worked."


Cecilia & Con Veraart

Married 66 years

"Be truthful. Be friends. Love each other. Don't start too young and get to know each other."


Desmond & Barbara Vantwest

Married 64 years

"Always love your partner. Be forgiving."

Topics:  love marriage valentines day

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