Horsing around leads to lasting love story

Left: Stan and Doreen Bathgate celebrate 60 years of marriage.
Left: Stan and Doreen Bathgate celebrate 60 years of marriage.

Doreen was a nurse and Stan a tailor when they met at 18 through a friend of Stan’s, Colin Vrady. Colin was keen to introduce them as he knew Doreen was a competent horse woman.

Stan was far from impressed. Nevertheless, his friend told him, ‘she can really ride a horse’.

The couple became good friends as Doreen rode Stan’s horses through the following years, competing in women’s events at the Perth Royal Show. Doreen gained some notoriety for herself by becoming the first woman to win the Emily Pelloe Award.

Sharing a love of adventure, the couple began foxhunting, and competing in shows in Harvey and surrounding areas. Stan even won the Champion Hunter Event in 1950.

For her 21st birthday, Stan made Doreen a beautiful black riding coat that she still has today.

After turning 21 that same year, Stan wanted to broaden his tailoring knowledge and went to Sydney where he learned various aspects of tailoring, including costume making with the Elizabethan Theatre Group.

At 24, he returned home.

He bumped into Doreen on Adelaide Terrace, in Perth and their friendship quickly turned into love and they were married on January 23, 1954.

They have three children, Janice, Gaewyn and Drew, nine grandchildren and eight great grandchildren, and have lived in Madurah for 34 years. The couple celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary tomorrow (Thursday).