Hunter couple aged 93 and 100 prepare for wedding on Sunday

Hunter couple aged 93 and 100 prepare for wedding on Sunday

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Joy: Ron Hedley, with his wedding day shirt and bow tie in a bag, said he would have loved to take Marie Hill on a honeymoon on the Indian Pacific to Perth. Pictures: Max Mason-Hubers

Joy: Ron Hedley, with his wedding day shirt and bow tie in a bag, said he would have loved to take Marie Hill on a honeymoon on the Indian Pacific to Perth. Pictures: Max Mason-Hubers

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It's never too late to fall in love.

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MARIE Hill never expected to fall in love again - especially not after an exercise class.

"Would you?" Ms Hill said, laughing.

"Ron is 100, we left it a bit late!"

Yet within minutes of the pair meeting, after being seated next to each other at the class, Ms Hill knew she had met the man she wanted to marry.

"He just suited me fine," Ms Hill said.

"He seemed to be a gentleman and he is a gentleman, I found out.

"He told me he wasn't married and I said 'Don't worry about that, because I'll marry you'."

Ron Hedley said Ms Hill continued to ask him regularly when they were going to tie the knot.

"She pestered me for six months and I had to give in to her," Mr Hedley joked.

He said he proposed with "lovely kisses".

"I told her she's beautiful and I'd like to marry her," he said.

"She's a wonderful woman and I've never seen another woman like her.

"She's full of fun, always laughing and joking. We're going to have a very happy marriage."

Ms Hill and Mr Hedley will wed on Sunday afternoon at Cameron Park Care Community, where they both live.

The home's chaplain will conduct a garden ceremony in front of 30 guests, before a meal and wedding cake.

"I love everything about her," Mr Hedley said.

"She's a wonderful woman, I really fell in love with her.

"She likes hugs and kisses."

Ms Hill said she liked that he was a stylish dresser.

"He's just so good," she said. "He's a good man."

Ms Hill, a mother to two sons, grandmother to seven and great grandmother to two will wear a dress she described as between gold and rust.

Mr Hedley, a father to three sons, grandfather to three and great grandfather to seven, will wear a black blazer with gold buttons - one of Ms Hill's favourites - a white shirt and blue bow tie.

Both said the nuptials had been a long time coming.

"I've been waiting for a long time and it can't come quick enough," Mr Hedley said.

Ms Hill said being married would be "wonderful", as the pair were in sync and best friends.

"It will be good - I'll be able to boss him around!" she said.

"I think if we love one another then we must marry."

The pair met shortly after Mr Hedley arrived in January 2019.

Ms Hill didn't want a ring. "I've got that many rings," she said. "I could sell one to him if he wanted!"

COVID-19 put a halt on plans, but also reinforced the strength of their relationship.

"He's kept me laughing," she said.

"She's laughing all the time," he said. "She's always got a smile on her face."

Ms Hill grew up in Buchanan, worked in a factory doing smocking and was a secretary at the University of Newcastle until her retirement.

Mr Hedley grew up in Adamstown and served in the army from 1941 to 1946, including in Papua New Guinea. He was a tram driver for 40 years until he retired in 1980.

Lifestyle coordinator Miki Stojcic said the couple's love had energised them.

"It's like a new life for them," she said.

"It's been amazing to see the transformation."

The home has hosted re-commitment ceremonies, but never a wedding.

Ms Stojcic said Ms Hill had lived at the home for about two years before Mr Hedley arrived, but felt sad and never wanted to participate in activities.

Similarly, Mr Hedley said he was "down in the dumps" when he arrived.

"I never imagined it," he said of falling in love.

"I would not be here if it wasn't for her."

They spend as much time together as they can, holding hands and sharing jokes, and participate in several activities, including their morning exercise class.

They enjoy going on bus trips, to the cinema and music.

Mr Hedley attends a Tuesday art class and gives his works to Ms Hill, who displays them on her wardrobe door.

The pair said they kept each other young.

"We don't feel old at all, we act like teenagers," he said.

"Ron cuddles me when I ask him to," she said.

"He allows me to talk all the time."

Mr Hedley said he doesn't mind.

"She could talk the legs off an iron pot, it's 'Yes Marie, no Marie', she never shuts up! But she's full of fun."

The couple live a few rooms apart and hope to live next to each other soon.

The story Hunter couple aged 93 and 100 prepare for wedding on Sunday first appeared on The Maitland Mercury.

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