Love first blossomed at old-time dance

TOGETHERNESS: Leonard and Laura Halls celebrate 60 years of marriage.
TOGETHERNESS: Leonard and Laura Halls celebrate 60 years of marriage. David Nielsen

LEONARD Halls was about 23 years old when he glanced across the wooden floors of the dance hall and his eyes fell on a woman wearing a blue dress with white spots.

The woman was 17 at the time and, unbeknownst to her, the eager-looking gentleman staring at her would turn out to be her husband just four years later.

Sixty years on and Mr Halls, 87, and wife Laura, 81, celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary on Thursday.

Mr Halls doesn't mind reminiscing about the evening he first met his beloved.

"I met my wife at the UPA Hall in Ipswich; it was a dance hall," he said.

"She was wearing a blue dress with white spots on it, and a yellow ribbon in her hair. Now that is the truth.

"I asked her for a dance and she said she would; reluctantly. She might have thought I was too eager. Anyway, I dragged her up and I danced with her."

According to Mr Halls, that evening didn't end quite as he had hoped. But he did manage to convince the young lady to meet him for a second date.

"Next time, I took her home in my little baby Austin. That's how it kicked off, and it kept going and going and going," he said.

After settling in Silkstone, Mr Halls worked as a saw doctor and Mrs Halls volunteered her time at Blue Care Lauriston.

"Laura loves helping people," Mr Halls said proudly of his wife.

The Halls had two children, both boys, and now boast grandchildren and great grandchildren beyond count.

They have had "millions of highlights" over their 60 years together, like holidays spent fishing for whiting in Ballina.

"We had some clacker times. Really good times," Mr Halls said.

In all their travels the couple has never ventured abroad.

"I haven't actually been in a plane," Mrs Halls said.

"I've never longed to. I've never had the desire."

Planes aren't a necessary ingredient when it comes to a happy, lasting marriage it seems. Mr Halls said it came down to "togetherness, loving one another and being truthful to one another".

"It fluctuated, but we overcame the hurdles and here we are," he said.

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