TRUE LOVE: Ray and Doug Hopper have been best friends all these years.
TRUE LOVE: Ray and Doug Hopper have been best friends all these years. Melanie Keyte

Couple prove true love exists on platinum anniversary

IT WAS love at first sight when Doug Hopper met his future wife Ray at a country dance more than seven decades ago.

The Sippy Downs couple, who are now in their 90s, will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary this Friday, April 7, with fond memories and full hearts.

Doug said he first fell in love with Ray at a country dance in Jimbour, a small town about 30km out of Dalby, when they were 19.

"We would mostly meet at the dances," Doug said.

"But once a month, I would get Sundays off, I used to milk cows on the (family's) dairy farm, and I would ride my horse for about 34km to see Ray and play tennis.

"Then I'd stay for tea and at 10pm, begin the ride back home."

Ray said she had been impressed with this "nice young man" from the start.

"They were lovely days," she said.

The youngsters were separated for almost two years in 1945, when Doug's family moved to a fruit and dairy farm in Imbil, but

they stayed in touch via letters.

Doug said due to petrol rations, he was occasionally able to drive back and visit Ray, until April 1947 when the pair were finally married, aged 21.

The Hoppers said they enjoyed everything which came next - jobs in Gladstone, two children, and active volunteering roles in helping the local church cater fundraisers.

They retired to Sippy Downs in 1988, and now "more or less do everything together," Ray said.

"The secret is to just support each other, love each other, and get on with life."


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