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‘No secrets’: Edgeworth couple celebrates 70th wedding anniversary

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They married their first love and their union has lasted 70 years.

When Edgeworth couple Peter and Marie Reddon celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary this month, they will be celebrating the success of the small things.

The couple, now both aged 89, can still recall the intimacy of that fine autumn Saturday in 1952.

They were 19-year-olds when they said their I-do’s in a ceremony on 19 April at the Saint Alban’s Anglican Church in Quirindi. 

“It was a small wedding – things were tough in those days – there were no bridesmaids, groomsmen, page boys or flower girls, we didn’t even have enough money to get photos taken,” Marie said.

“It was just the two of us, it was a quiet wedding. It wasn’t hot, it wasn’t cold, it was just a nice day.”

The pair had met at the local tennis court in Quirindi.

“I had come down with my mother and father from Willow Creek and Peter was there with his mother and father,” Marie recalls.

“That’s where families met in those days. The adults would talk while the children ran around a bit.

“I remember we’d put the kids to sleep in the supper room under the tables while we were at dances. 

“That’s what you did back in those days. And then we’d dance for hours.”

After making their vows within the Henry Street parish that was then 70 years old, Peter and Marie celebrated with a reception at Marie’s family home “just past Willow Creek”.

Later that year the newlyweds became parents.

They would go on to raise five children and live at various locations in the New England region.

“Peter was a stud groomer,” Marie told Newcastle Weekly.

“He worked on pastoral stations. He’d take cattle to shows in Sydney and Brisbane, and all over the place.

“He’s had that many jobs over the years, it’s hard to keep up.”

But in 1964 the pair uprooted to Edgeworth hoping to offer their children a better education.

“Peter was working on a property in Gunnedah and the girls were ready to go to high school,” Marie says.

“We were too far from school and Peter said ‘it’s time to move to Newcastle’ so we did.”

They’ve enjoyed many adventures together over the years, they’ve had immense joy and faced unbearable heartache together, including the loss of one of their children, then aged 19, who died in an accident in 1976.

When asked what the key ingredient is in creating a marriage that lasts 70 years Marie smiles.  

“It’s a long time isn’t it,” she said.

“There’s no secret, in fact that’s it really – we had no secrets. 

“We were always together, we did everything together, we just enjoyed it that way.

“And when the children came along it was just us and the children.”

When their work days were over Peter and Marie headed off around Australia.

“We did a lot of travelling when we first retired, in fact there’s not many places we haven’t been to I think,” Marie ponders.

“And walking. We walked everywhere. People used to say ‘they’re the couple that walk everywhere’.

“But even our travelling days are gone now.”

For now the duo share their time with their four children, 10 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

“All of them are not too far away,” Marie says.

“Some are in Tamworth, Burrabah, Raymond Terrace, Thornton and Sawyers Gully – I love it that way.”

Peter and Marie Reddon were hoping to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary with a family gathering but COVID-19 has put a halt to that.

“We’ll just put it off for a bit,” Marie says.

“It doesn’t matter. We still have each other. I’d be lost without him actually.”

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