Sneaky plan brings lovebirds together

Capalaba couple, Bill and Joan Parker celebrate 60 years of wedded bliss

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A Capalaba couple celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary on February 19.

It was a mischievous plan between siblings that lead to 60 years of marriage for Capalaba couple, Bill and Joan Parker.

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DIAMOND: Bill and Joan Parker celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary this month.

DIAMOND: Bill and Joan Parker celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary this month.

Joan recalls the first time Bill laid eyes on her: "On June 26 1955, one Sunday afternoon, a very large car pulled up. I later learned that it was a Chrysler Straight 8. My sisters, Eve and Eileen and a large group of their friends piled out, one chap noticed me and asked, 'Who was the good looking brunette Sheila mowing the lawn?"

Joan's sister, Eve told Bill that it was her older sister Joan, and would he like to meet her. "No way" he said, "She's mowing the lawn, have her down at the Alhambra (the Stone's Corner Theatre) next Saturday night and make sure the seat next to her is vacant. I'll come in late and sit next to her and chat her up."

And so the plan was put into motion. "Sometimes I curse my sisters, sometimes I can't thank them enough," said Joan.

DOWN THE AISLE: The Parkers on their wedding day 60 years again.

DOWN THE AISLE: The Parkers on their wedding day 60 years again.

Bill was 18 when he met the love of his life. With the exception of Bill serving time in the navy and having to work away in country areas at times, the Parkers have been together ever since then.

"I've never worked since we've been married," Joan said. But Bill quickly corrects her, "Yes you have, you are a professional mother and housewife."

The pair both come from rural farming families with Joan's family farming at Rochedale and Bill's family having mixed crop and poultry farms at Sunnybank and Upper Mt Gravatt.

After working and living around Queensland the couple settled in the Redlands in 1990.

The lovebirds agree the secret to their successful marriage is "we've never argued, only had political debates. Some serious, and such debates are finalised before we go to bed at night."

Bill and Joan have four sons, six granddaughters, three grandsons, six great-grandsons and another great-grandchild on the way in May. People have asked Bill over the years how he has stayed married to the same person for so long. His reply: "I've got to keep Joan around as she's the one who can remember the grand kids and great-grand kids birthdays."

The story Sneaky plan brings lovebirds together first appeared on Redland City Bulletin.

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