SITTING in their Yamanto living room, the 60 years that have passed since Des and Gloria Whelband's story begin to melt away as they recount the day they met.

Like so many teenagers in the 1950s, it all started at the dance hall - in their case, an after-school dance organised by the Scouts at the WPO Hall in Ipswich.

"I first saw him there, and he had a pink shirt with grey stripes and pink socks, and I thought 'ooh, that's nice'," Gloria said.

"Our parents were there, of course, because we were never allowed out alone," she said.

They fell in love quickly, but faced objections to their marriage plans when Gloria was just 17 and Des was 18.

"Everyone said to us, you're too young to get married - but we've lasted for 60 years," Des said.

"It couldn't have been too bad, could it?" Gloria said.

As for how they've passed the time together, Des, 78, and Gloria, 77, have spent their lives in Ipswich, delighting in shared interests including lawn bowls, beer can collecting and gardening.

Their three children Brian, Ann and Bruce have given them nine grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

They insist that they have never had an argument and that there is no special secret to marital bliss, crediting their long union to always communicating and not expecting things to be easy.

"You just work things out. That's the problem these days, people don't work at it," Des said.

Far from dragging on, Des says that sixty years with Gloria has gone by incredibly fast.

With this pair, it's easy to see that time flew by while they were having fun.



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