Railway meet-cute turns into marriage
THEY didn't realise it at the time but when Ken and Colleen Anderson met at a railway station over 60 years ago, it was the start of a lifetime of love.
The couple are celebrating their milestone wedding anniversary this week and said their love for each other snuck up on them when they least expected it.
"Before I went to national service, none of my friends had girlfriends," Ken said.
"We weren't interested and we just wanted to drink and dance and enjoy our time.
"When I came home from national service, my friends all had girlfriends so I started taking Colleen home, which I thought was only going to be for a while, but it didn't happen that way."
The couple first met at the railway station in Hervey Bay after attending a railway picnic and continued to see each other at dance events.
"In our day, dancing was the way to go and we were always at the parish hall or Coronation Hall," Colleen said.
"Kenny actually took me home for six weeks from the dance before he took me out to the pictures."
"We were the first to get married out of all of our friends."
The pair were 20 and 21 when they wed at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Bundaberg in 1957.
Colleen worked at Beyers Bakery in Woongarra St until their marriage and Ken worked as an apprentice electrician for G & F electric shop, servicing the Gin Gin, Wallaville and surrounding areas as the electricity network was extended.
What followed was years of happiness, two daughters and grandchildren, but also hardships when they leaned on each other for support.
Most recently, Colleen and Ken said goodbye to their youngest daughter, who died in December from melanoma at the age of 56.
"Life has been a struggle sometimes but Kenny and I have never really fought," Colleen said.
"Kenny has always been there for me and for his daughters."
The couple, in their 80s, are celebrating their love for each other on February 16 with a family dinner to be held over the weekend.
When asked what advice they would give to young couples, they said it was simple: stick it out.
"Try hard with each other and don't want for everything in your first week of marriage," Colleen said.
Appreciation is also key.
"I can't fault Colleen - I love all of her," Kenny said.
"He thinks I am the best cook in town too," Colleen said.