ERN and Jean Geyer were in love the moment they met. It did not take long for them to marry, and 70 years on they are still very much in love.
Jean recalls how Ern’s mother had saved her from being hit by a car, then telling her “I have to save you for one of my sons”. She was yet to meet Ern.
Was it fate? Jean seems to think so and Ern agrees.
“I loved to dance when I returned from war. I remember taking Jean’s hand on the dancefloor and noticing an engagement ring,” he said.
“Well … I threw that hand down and said ‘I don’t like the look of that hand’ but she ended up calling off the engagement with the other guy.”
They were married near Mildurra in 1948. They have four children – Graeme, Stuart, Pam and Sandra.
“I knew his brothers, but when he got out of the army he would come along to dancing with them. That was it. We kept going until we got married,” Jean said.
“We had four kids and now we have 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. I’m very lucky.”
The pair shifted around, living in a house with dirt floors before carpenter Ern built his reputation up enough to build their own house.
Jean said the secret to success is simple.
We would go to bed with our arms around one another and we would talk. We would talk about what was upsetting us and we would discuss it. That’s what we did early in our married life and that is what has worked for us.
“Tolerance and talking about it,” Jean said.
“There’s no use saying ‘nothing’ when your husband asks what’s wrong. That doesn’t solve anything.”
“I was trying to get things going with the business, I was working and Jean was a young bride going to a lot of trouble to work in the shop, make dinner … she’s getting more and more annoyed and it was only later we decided to have a stocktake once every week,” Ern added.
“We would go to bed with our arms around one another and we would talk. We would talk about what was upsetting us and we would discuss it. That’s what we did early in our married life and that is what has worked for us.”
Daughter Sandra, who lives locally, said she never saw her parents fighting.
“It was always a united front from them. We never saw anything else,” she said.
Ern said he has faced death many times, but “they just can’t kill me”.
“Twice they brought the family in to say goodbye. But they just can’t get rid of me,” he said.
“We have had a long, great life. We have seen a lot of changes and sadly it isn’t as safe as it use to be. I feel sorry for the parents because they have to forever run after their kids.”
The couple will celebrate with family and friends on the weekend. Congratulations, Ern and Jean.