Jan and Warren Laurent notch up 60th wedding anniversary after romance which began with notes in a bicycle saddle bag

Long marriage: Jan and Warren Laurent celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on Sunday. Photo: Matt McLennan
Long marriage: Jan and Warren Laurent celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on Sunday. Photo: Matt McLennan

Secret notes left in the saddle bag of Warren Laurent's bicycle led to a love which is still going strong on another continent.

Warren and his wife Jan celebrate 60 years of marriage today and it all started at a pub in Leicester, in the UK.

Warren would leave the bike at Jan's parent's 400-year-old pub, the Old Bowling Green, while working for Fox's Glacier Mints next door.

The pair, who now live at Jimboomba, would read each other's notes.

"Just how are you, what are you doing today, that sort of thing," Warren said.

Warren and Jan married at Leicester's Register Office. He was 21 and she was 17.

"We didn't have enough money for a big church wedding," Jan said.

They moved to Market Bosworth, the scene of the last War of the Roses for control of the English throne, before Warren decided to follow sister June Down Under.

Another sister, Sandra, also came to live on the other side of the world.

"Warren had itchy feet and wanted to move to Australia," Jan said.

Yearning for acreage, the couple built their first house on Abell Road in the early 1970s, and have lived in the area ever since.

They enjoy life in a semi-rural area, but a snake in their house last summer did not impress Jan.

"It's the only thing I don't like about Australia, the snakes," she said.

The couple have one daughter, Karen, born in 1964.

Warren has retired from Beaudesert Shire Council where he worked from 1975 to 2006.

Jan was a secretary for Paul Commins and Barry Rawlinson.

She remembered her bosses building one of the earliest concrete bridges over the M1.

They were enjoying their letters from the Queen, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Wright MP Scott Buchholz, among other dignitaries.

"We didn't expect this at all," Jan said.

"I am surprised she [Queen Elizabeth] had even known we had left."

The secret to a happy marriage is putting up with each other, according to Warren, and Jan's cooking skills.

Her Biriyani had to be a winner to please her Indian-born husband.

They still enjoyed marriage after all these years.

"It's absolutely great, we're still talking to each other," Jan said.

"What more could you want."

COVID-19 restrictions have put an end to plans for a big party, with Sandra having to cancel her flights to come up for the party.

Jan said she suspected relatives were cooking something up to surprise them on their big day.

"There is a bit of secret stuff going on," she said.

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