Artie and Edie Brown are about to celebrate 75 years of marriage with their family including 22 great grandchildren.
Artie and Edie Brown are about to celebrate 75 years of marriage with their family including 22 great grandchildren. Sophie Moeller

Artie and Edie share their secret to a long marriage

SEVENTY Five years of marriage, three children, eight grandchildren and 22 great grand children, and not one argument.

"We were not the arguing type," says Artie Brown.

"It's not our nature," says the women he when she was just 16, Edie.

"We just share a common goal. And that is family," she says.

And the common goal next Tuesday will be to bring 40 of their family and their friends together for morning tea to celebrate yet another diamond anniversary for the couple.

Artie and Edie, who are 98 and 95, respectively, met at a picnic when they were both teenagers.

" I hadn't long moved from Jiggi and seen this good looking girl and I said 'wow', I've got to meet her. So I snuck along to where she was and smiled and winked, and it worked. Four years later we were married, " said Artie

I thought it was pretty good, having a boy look at me," says Edie.

Edie who had been a hairdresser, then moved with her young husband out to Stoney Shoot, where for the next 47 years they were dairy farmers bringing up their two daugthers, Margaret and Narelle and son, Ian.

Artie went onto become the president of the "strongest National Party branch in the Page electorate" and the family enjoyed a simple life with the children helping with the milking before school each day.

But "it changed when Whitlam came to power" and brought in regulations which made it too difficult for small operations to produce cream for the marketplace, said Artie.

A lot was different back then which is why the congregation at St Paul's Prebyterian Church in Keen Street Lismore, still plays a large part in their lives. The friends who remain in the congregation remind them of a time when "everything was built on trust. Your word was your word."

"Everybody was poor and you just helped your neighbour, they were like extended family, said Artie.

Asked what the key to long and healthy life is, Artie replies: "no diets. I eat anything at all.

Edie says: "No diet for me either, I eat anything that's put in front of me, and I'm glad to have it."

"It"s been a low key kind of life. We've just lived."

"And It's been a long marriage, but it doesn't just happen. You have to work together and support each other. And we still have a cuddle now and then," says Artie with a smile.

"Well, I'm not going to kick him out of the building or anything like that now," says Edie.