It was far from love at first sight for one Griffith couple who celebrated 50 years of marriage on Saturday.
When Kay Stevenson first saw Bob Mitchell she said her first thought was ‘oh my goodness who is this guy?’.
Apparently his flared pants were well out of fashion.
Little did the 18-year-old teaching student know the man standing a little way down the gravel driveway wondering who these interstate girls were, was the man she would one day build a life and start a family with.
In what was almost a sliding doors moment, the pair met only when Kay and girlfriend Elayne Taylor could not find anywhere to live in Adelaide, finally moving into a boarding house with a girlfriend where Bob, a high school teacher, was also living.
Today the couple said they wouldn’t want to think about life without one another. “I feel God has brought us together for a reason,” Kay said as the pair celebrated their half a century of marriage.
Bob asked Kay to marry him the lounge room of her family’s Hyandra Street home, going down on one knee after facing the daunting prospect of asking her father Bob Stevenson for his only daughter’s hand.
He said it was all worth it in that moment he turned around and saw Kay walking towards him down the aisle at St Albans Cathedral.
“I thought she looked pretty good,” he laughed, “no she looked beautiful.”
The humour and obvious firm friendship between the couple is but one of their many secrets to a long and happy marriage, with their Christian faith, varied interests and three children together all also part of the recipe.
But it was also the changing nature of their time together that showed the strength of the pair’s love, with it surviving both good times and bad as Kay battled illness. “I can’t believe how Bob has gone along with me, for seven years he was at every appointment,” Kay said.
For Bob though being there for his wife was black and white. “If you can’t do that, be there for one another, then what is the point of being married?” he said.
The pair plan to celebrate their anniversary on a cruise with their children, Robina, Jo and Andrew, their partners and their four grandchildren.
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