Bethania couple still married 70 years later

IN LOVE: Bethania couple Kathy and Brian Watts have been for 70 years. Photo: Jacob Wilson
IN LOVE: Bethania couple Kathy and Brian Watts have been for 70 years. Photo: Jacob Wilson

BRIAN and Kathy Watts had a ‘disaster of a wedding’ when they married 70 years ago in England.

The pastor forgot about the ceremony, the photographer used the wrong lens and Brian was sent to Singapore one day later in line with his Royal Air Force duties.

Mr Watts said very little went to plan but the wedding still went ahead.

“My brother in law was my best man and we went to the church early but we could not find the pastor,” he said.

“We went to where (the pastor) lived and I asked: ‘What are you doing? Why are you gardening? What about the wedding today?’ The pastor said: ‘Oh yes, I will have to ring the organisers because I forgot to tell them’.

“Half an hour before the wedding we went back in and it was full.

“Someone took pictures but he had the wrong lens and the pictures were mucked up.”

The chaos was no reflection of the Bethania couple’s love for each other which will have endured for 70 years on August 14.

Mrs Watts said she was friends with Brian before the relationship began when she was 16 and he was 17.

She recalled standing up for her future husband after he encountered a bully at school in Westbourne.

“The boy was a big fella and Brian was very short and skinny and he was hitting Brian,” she said.

“I said: ‘You leave him alone. He is smaller than you, you are spiteful,’ and he hit me.

“I told the headmaster and he got a caning for it.”

Mrs Watts said it was her husbands loving and honest nature which kept them together for more than 70 years.

Mr Watts said he and Kathy were separated for up to one year to 18 months at a time in the early stage of the relationship, due to his RAF commitments.

“We wrote letters to each other every week and I bought a camera and took lots of pictures in Singapore and sent them to Kathy so she knew what was going on,” he said.

Shortly after leaving the RAF, Mr Watts started work as a mechanic and the family decided to migrate to Australia in 1968 after securing a job in Windsor, New South Wales.

The family returned to England for a visit in 1980, which was the moment Mrs Watts knew she was a real Aussie.

“I thought London was dirty, it was nothing like home in Australia where it is clean and beautiful,” she said.

The Watts raised four daughters Marilyn, Kandy, Vicky and Kathleen and two sons Graham and Fred who lives in Jimboomba.

Mrs Watts said they sadly survived two of their daughters after Vicky died in a car crash and Kandy passed away following a cancer diagnosis.

They have 20 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.

The Watts family will celebrate the 70 year milestone on August 18.