Gympie love story that began at Long Flat dance 74 years ago
HE RODE a horse from Degilbo to Gympie in search of love more than seven decades ago.
Dick Emery was only 19 when he made the move as a result of his father purchasing a farm in Lagoon Pocket. That decision led to Dick meeting the love of his life, Gloria Claffey, at the Long Flat dances in 1946.
The pair, fit as a fiddle, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary yesterday at Gunabul Homestead with friends and family.
Gloria said it was "love at first sight."
"We knew each other for about three years before we married in 1949," she said.
"In those days there was a dance in Gympie and a dance there. It was a good way to catch up and socialise with one another. There would be about seven of us in the vehicle and we would go to the dances."
The pair are life members of Kandanga Bowls Club.
"We played bowls for so many years, we both were presidents and life members of the club. They have the Emery Lounge in our honour," Gloria said.
Dick and Gloria married on February 26, 1949 at St Patrick's Church and they have four children, Kerry, Greg, Debbie and Tracey.
A few years later the couple bought a farm on Red Gully Rd in Amamoor where they lived for more than 30 years.
Dick worked at the forestry for many years before he retired at 65.
They said the recipe for a happy marriage is to be kind to each other.
"It's about being compatible with one another," Dick said.
"I'd say we have the same interests, we love playing bowls, going dancing and singing songs. We've had arguments but they never lasted long," Gloria said.
They have seven grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
Eldest granddaughter Sherridan lives in Tasmania and was visiting her grandparents for their anniversary.
"My nanna was a twin and I have twin daughters who just turned 18," she said.
"It's a big family that's stemmed from Dick and Gloria. We're very proud of them and they are such a role model for their family."