THOMAS and Violet Hales have always agreed on the big things and most of the small things too.
As the pair prepares to celebrate their platinum anniversary next month they mark their latest milestone in a marriage and life they call equal; built on support, travel and laughter.
One Friday evening at the Embassy Ballroom in 1944, a then 17-year-old Violet was asked to dance by then 20-year-old Thomas, she accepted and the pair danced the waltz, parting ways after the tune but meeting and dancing again for the next three Fridays.
Thomas, who was in the Air Force, was on pre-embark leavebefore heading to Singapore.
As he prepared to leave, Violet asked if she could write to him while he was away; he said yes and for the next year she sent three letters a week and received one-a-week in return, although it was often heavily redacted.
In December 1945 Thomas returned to Perth and Violet was at the dock to pick him up with his parents and hers.
Four months later, they were engaged and then married in December 1946.
“When (Thomas) came out of the Air Force we were paid six pound four pence a week, renting the house for a pound a week,” Violet said.
The home on Mint Street in Victoria Park was the home where Violet was born, and later where they started their family when their son Brian was born.
The pair moved to a home they built in the City of Canning, overseen by Thomas who was then a qualified draftsman.
Later their daughter Lorraine completed their family and Thomas became a technical drawing teacher at Kent Street School and later Armadale Senior High School.
After retiring in the ‘80s, the pair extensively travelled Australia and the world.
“We’ve had retirement happiness for 30 years,” Violet said.
Today they have five grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and four step-great grandchildren.
“Having children was a big part of our lives and family is very important to us,” Thomas said.
Thomas said their rich life was thanks to their solid relationship and the support of Violet.
“We’ve had a few changes in our lives, but Violet has always been there and always supported what I’ve done,” he said.
“It’s definitely give and take, it has to be,” Violet said.