Raymond Shea and Len Friend with fiances Netta and Isobel, and Dick ‘Cupid’ Cranbourne.
Raymond Shea and Len Friend with fiances Netta and Isobel, and Dick ‘Cupid’ Cranbourne.

Couples had guests seeing double at wedding

WEDDING guests were seeing double 60 years ago, when two couples chose to get married in the same ceremony

Len and Isobel Friend, of Nambour, recently celebrated their recent 60th wedding anniversary.

They celebrated their wedding on May 7, 1955 at the Milton Congregational Church in Brisbane with a special twist. It was a double wedding with Isobel's sister Netta and her husband Raymond Shea.

The double wedding set the scene for an exceptional start to their married lives.

Their double wedding helped the couples win a radio prize of a fortnight's free honeymoon at the Hotel Australia in Sydney.

As well as the free honeymoon, they won enough paint for four rooms of their respective homes and the services of a master painter because Taubman Paints was the show's sponsor.

"My sister insisted we go on the show and we relented rather reluctantly," Len said.

"In an interview before the show as an engaged couple, we casually said we would be having a double wedding.

"That made the sponsor's ears prick up because they had never had a couple having a double wedding before."

As fate would have it, the two couples became part of the show, sailed through the interview, then the nerve-wracking question time on air, and won.

"It was a wonderful start to a very wonderful marriage," Len said.

While living in Brisbane, Len engaged in part-time military service as a cavalry soldier in the Armoured Corp and retired from the army because of age.

When Len retired after 36 years at Queensland Rail, he and Isobel looked around for a place to retire and chose Nambour.

Since coming to live in Nambour they have been active in community affairs including the National Seniors, the Presbyterian Church, the View Club and RSL.

They have two children, Neil and Judy, who live in Canberra and a grand-daughter Samantha Jane, also from Canberra.

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