Appendicitis may have kept them apart for two years but Bill and Joy Taylor made up for it.
The pair celebrated 60 years of marriage on Thursday, September 21.
They first met when 17-year-old Joy travelled from Windsor to Austinmer Beach for a holidays with five friends.
Nineteen-year-old Bill was working as a lifesaver and it wasn’t long before the pair began chatting.
A holiday was soon in the works, with Bill and his friends planning a trip up to Windsor to see Joy and her girlfriends.
However, Bill was later struck down with appendicitis and couldn’t make it.
Two years passed before Joy was able to make another trip to Austinmer Beach.
She hadn’t forgotten Bill.
“I thought if we ran into each other that would be good,” Joy said.
While they didn’t reunite at the beach, a dance in Thirroul did the trick.
“The girls and I went to the Thirroul dance and in walked Bill,” Joy said.
Not long after the couple married at St Matthews Church of England in Windsor.
Around 120 guests, three bridesmaids, two groomsmen best man and a three-year-old flowergirl were there to celebrate the special day.
The couple lived in Austinmer for 17 years where Bill worked as a carpenter by day and turned into a soccer star at night, training and playing for the NSW side.
Bill began playing soccer at age 10 and only retired from the sport at 28.
Joy enjoyed regular tennis competitions three times a week, before the couple’s first son, Mark, arrived in 1965, followed by Grant in 1968.
The boys followed in Bill’s footsteps both on and off the field.
They both played soccer for many years and both became builders.
In the 1970s the couple decided to make the move to the Shoalhaven, where Bill’s work was taking off.
“I had joined Austinmer Bowling Club in 1974 and when we decided to come down here with Bill’s building business his mother paid my fees for the next nine years,” Joy said.
“She might have thought we’d come back but we settled down here.”
Bill built all three of the couple’s homes, along with around 50 spec houses in the Nowra region.
The pair embraced lawn bowls and played for Nowra for many years. They proved a formidable force and competed at state level.
At 80 and 83, the couple has now pulled up stumps for the meantime.
“Now we just try and keep healthy and away from the doctor,” Bill joked.
When it comes to the secret to their long marriage, they both agree on one thing.
“There’s been ups and downs, just like anyone, but it’s more good luck than anything,” Bill said.
“It’s something that you’ve got to work at and not stop – but yes, a bit of luck never hurts,” Joy agreed.
The couple will celebrate their anniversary on the long weekend with lunch at The Butterfactory.
Family, including their many grandchildren, will fly in from across the country to mark the occasion.