Love, trust and honesty key to a lasting union
Wednesday, 25th August, 2010
Celebrations are in order as a local couple clock up 60 years of marriage today.
Harold Ritch and Vera Preston will be treated to a celebratory dinner to mark the special occasion.
The two have known each other most of their lives. Harold, who is six years older, used to look after Vera when her mother went to play cards.
The two began dating in January 1949 and it took almost a year and a half to make it to the altar.
The couple were married by Reverend Hardwick at St Peter's Church in 1950 with more than 200 people attending.
"It was a big wedding," Mrs Ritch said.
Mr Ritch said the reception was held at the Palais.
"The two mums, mine and Vera's, wanted to cater it themselves," he said.
Mrs Ritch said the day was a lot of work, and if she had the choice, she wouldn't have had a big wedding.
"I would just go away, just say 'give us money', because it was a lot of work."
Between 1952 and 1964, Mr and Mrs Ritch had five children and moved around NSW for work.
Mr Ritch was the deputy principal of Alma Public School for three years and at the North school for four years. He also worked at many other NSW schools in between.
The couple moved back to the city from Lismore in 1997, and say they are happy in Broken Hill where two of their children still live.
They now have 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, and Mrs Ritch says she remembers all their birthdays.
The couple provided other married couples with the key to reaching their diamond anniversary: love each other.
"Trust each other, love each other and keep nothing from each other," she said.
He also said having five good kids and his wife by his side played a big part.
"The thing that made our marriage so harmonious is all wrapped up in that girl Vera."
The couple now live in a house built by one of their children, Robert, and have some different plans for the future, as "mad on history" Vera wants to travel to Egypt.
"We're happy here where we are," he said. "If we win Lotto, Vera can go to Egypt."
The couple will also be having an open house on Saturday at their home at 30 Thomas Lane between 2pm and 4pm, with friends and family welcome to attend.