No back-pedalling for Bill

Bill and Audrey Watson, married for 65 years, share some wisdom  for making a marriage last.  Picture: Emma Goodwin            d434671
Bill and Audrey Watson, married for 65 years, share some wisdom for making a marriage last. Picture: Emma Goodwin         d434671

�We had a bit of a problem,� Bill said.

�I lived five miles from Audrey and the flowers came to me and the button holes went to her.

�So I had to grab the flowers, jump on my push bike and ride five miles but then no one would let me in because it�s bad luck.

�We swapped over and then I had to ride back.�

Years later, now with three daughters, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren (with two more on the way), the Padbury couple still chuckle about the hiccup.

To celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary, the Woodvale Baptist Church�s Over-50s Fellowship held a party for the Watsons, married at a parish church in Anlaby in the UK on March 25, 1950.

Last Friday�s event was attended by family and friends, and they received a number of congratulatory letters from dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth, Governor General Peter Cosgrove, and Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

�We�d like another 65 years. It�s been happy right through and I wouldn�t change anything,� Bill said. �You�ve got to work as a team, accept each others pitfalls and if you have an argument forget it, don�t hold on to it; that�s the main thing.�

Bill said theirs was a story of �love at first sight�. He spotted Audrey when he started a new job after realising a life fishing off Murmansk was not for him.

�I decided not to go back to sea. I thought it�s not the life for a married life because you did three to six weeks depending where you were and then you had a 48-hour turnaround to go back; so if you saw your wife one-and-a-half days every six weeks you were doing well,� he said.

�So I said �no, I�m not having that� so I left and went back to where I worked during the war. It was a munitions factory, got working there and saw Audrey.

�I was walking through and saw her there; she worked a six turret lathe, and as I was walking past a friend of mine came up and said �I�m going out with her� and I thought to myself �not before I do�, I went across and asked and she said yes.�

Audrey said her tip for a happy marriage was making time for one another. �Wherever Bill goes, I always go with him,� she said.

Bill, who joined the Australian Air Force when they immigrated to Perth in 1960, agreed.

�Yes, we always go everywhere together,� he said.

�It was only when we were first married and the children came Audrey would go and see a film one night and I would go and see it the next night.�