Waterford couple set to celebrate 68 years of marriage

ENDURING LOVE: Eddie and Barbara Parker are due to celebrate their 68 year marriage aniversary in August. Photo: Jacob Wilson
ENDURING LOVE: Eddie and Barbara Parker are due to celebrate their 68 year marriage aniversary in August. Photo: Jacob Wilson

A BLIND date more than 70 years ago has culminated in an enduring bond, growing stronger every day.

Waterford Telbarra Retirement Village residents Eddie and Barbara Parker, aged 96 and 94, will have been married for 68 years this August.

It wasn’t “love at first sight” for the couple who met in Britain in the wake of World War II, but there is no doubt they were meant to be together.

“It was a blind date through a friend of mine, that is how I met my husband,” Mrs Parker said.

“After that we met once a week, there was no living together in those days. No way.”

The couple knew each other for six months before a two year engagement leading up to a marriage in 1950.

At first, Mrs Parker struggled when the relationship became serious and the prospect of engagement was being discussed.

“It used to worry me because I didn’t want to lead him up the garden path and push him off, I didn’t want to hurt him,” she said,

“I have always been a hard person to make up my mind, but when it is made up it is made up.”

All doubt was removed after a magical moment between them which laid the foundation for a long and happy marriage.

“We were going out for the day at Country Park and there was a big puddle, (Eddie) crossed over to one side of the puddle and I was on the other,” she said.

“He just reached his hands out to help me across and I just thought oh I love him...that was it, if he proposed I would say yes and there would be no mucking about.”

ROMANTIC: Eddie and Barbara Parker on their wedding day. Photo: Supplied.

ROMANTIC: Eddie and Barbara Parker on their wedding day. Photo: Supplied.

The Parker family emigrated to Australia in 1971 with three kids Brian, Carol and Ian, while their other son Keith remained in the UK to serve in the Royal Navy.

The move to Australia wasn’t immediately smooth sailing with the family residing in a Sydney Hostel for one year before moving to Brisbane.

After settling on a home in Woodridge, the whole family eventually came together.

“I was really the fly in the ointment, the kids were good but because I left my eldest son in England I was fretting,” Mrs Parker said.

“My husband said when our two years are up we could go back, but my other son Brian said if we went back he wouldn’t.

“Over time everything cleared up and Keith came over to Australia.”

Mrs Parker said the key to a successful and happy marriage was really quite simple for them.

“We love one another and that is the bottom line,” she said.

“I love everything about him – when we got married and started to live together he had no faults...we are very compatible.”

The couple celebrated their birthdays with family and friends in Waterford on Sunday, January 14.

Eddie and Barbara’s birthdays are spaced two years and two days apart.

The Parkers have 10 grand children and three great-grandchildren.

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