"WE ARE not just husband and wife, we are great mates."
So says Shirley Healy of East Ipswich, when asked how she and husband Bill have achieved 60 years of marriage.
Born Shirley Russell and raised in Goodna, she first met Bill Healy when local matchmaker Des Kelly organised a group to attend a dance at Cloudland Ballroom in Brisbane.
"Bill was born and raised at Rosalie in Brisbane, his family moved here when he was 15," Mrs Healy said.
The couple began dating soon after, announcing their engagement in 1955, and were married at the Goodna Catholic Church on October 27, 1956.
With dancing bringing the couple together, they continued to dance for many years, and would always take to the floor at events like family weddings.
"Neither of us drove, we took the train or bus everywhere. Bill eventually got his licence in his 30s, when the older children were teenagers."
The Healys bought their home at East Ipswich when they were married, and remain there to this day.
Daughter Gaye said it was like living in an extended family, with neighbours the Newlands and the Bensons also moving in at the same time, and all the children grew up together.
The three families still live there, and will always look out for the others.
"If someone goes away, or is in hospital, the others look after their home."
Bill was forced to take early retirement from the Redbank rail workshops due to ill health, and has overcome other health issues, but he and Shirley still get out to Brothers Leagues Club every Sunday.