Rossmoyne couple celebrates 70 years of marriage

Love was right on schedule: John and Helen Miller, who met by chance on a train platform, celebrated 70 years of marriage on July 18. Picture: Emma Geary
Love was right on schedule: John and Helen Miller, who met by chance on a train platform, celebrated 70 years of marriage on July 18. Picture: Emma Geary

JOHN and Helen Miller had a chance encounter at a train station in Birmingham in England just after World War II. It began a partnership that has lasted seven decades.

The couple, who live at Rossmoyne Retirement Village, celebrated 70 years of marriage on July 18 with 40 family and friends.

Mr Miller (93) had returned from India in 1946, where he had been serving with the Glider Pilot Regiment of the Royal Air Force.

Mrs Miller (91) was serving in the British Army, stationed in Manchester, and was at Birmingham train station travelling to the Cotswolds for a weekend with her parents.

“We both stepped off the same train at Birmingham and I asked her what platform was the train for Gloucester,” Mr Miller recalled.

The couple spent a couple of hours in Birmingham waiting for the next train, enjoying a cup of tea together.

“From the moment I met him, I was very interested to think I was an interest to him,” Mrs Miller said.

“When I got back from my weekend away, there was a letter waiting for me and he came up to see me that following weekend.”

Six months later, on July 18, 1947, the couple were married in Stroud.

The Millers have led an interesting life together in their 70 years of marriage.

They have travelled the world and lived for 21 years in the warmer climes of Trinidad in the West Indies where Mr Miller, who had studied at Durham University, worked as a French and Spanish teacher.

“I always describe Trinidad as being the place where I learned to live,” Mrs Miller said. “It is fun.

“It is only a small island. The music is terrific.”

The couple moved to Perth in 1976 and have lived at Rossmoyne Retirement Village for nearly 12 years. Their son Stephen lives in Perth, while daughter Madeleine lives in Trinidad.

In Perth, Mrs Miller worked for 10 years in hostels caring for Aboriginal children sent to the city from remote communities for schooling while Mr Miller taught English to migrants.