How to win over the girl of your dreams

DICK Tazelaar knows what women want.

Or at least he knew how to win over a 14-year-old Katie Tazelaar after she arrived in Australia by boat in 1952.

It's a tactic men have been using for years, but in a post-war world Dick's gift left Katie feeling as though she was being wooed by a wealthy man.

The pair are both from Holland and moved to Australia after the Second World War.

Dick made the journey alone, while Katie moved with her family who had work lined up in Queensland.

Katie, the oldest of seven children, was minding her younger siblings when Dick climbed on board their boat, the Fairsea, docked in Melbourne.

He was with two other young lads who visited the wharf often hoping to buy cheap cigarettes.

Dick wanted to move to Queensland too and when Katie told him that's where her family was headed, he asked for her address.

Before leaving, he gave her a huge piece of chocolate, a commodity in short supply in Europe following the war.

Dick and Katie Tazelaar are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.
Dick and Katie Tazelaar are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Rob Williams

"We talked on the boat for a while and I gave him my address," Katie said.

"When he gave me the chocolate, I thought he was so rich, but I soon found out different."

A month after Katie's family arrived in Queensland, she received Dick's first letter.

For two years they wrote to one another, and while it wasn't love at first sight the day they met at the docks of Melbourne, their relationship blossomed quickly.

Katie was working at a hostel and one day told a woman there she had a boyfriend who wanted to move to Queensland.

The woman found Dick work, he moved up north and a year later they were married.

They were too poor to take a honeymoon and Katie rented her wedding dress for £8.


Dick and Katie Tazelaar on their wedding day.
Dick and Katie Tazelaar on their wedding day. Contributed

That was 60-years ago and after so many years together Dick says one of his favourite things about Katie is that they do everything together.

That's been true about their lives in Ipswich after they moved to the city in 1956.

They raised four children together, including the famous cricketer Dick Tazelaar (junior), and worked together in two shops.

For five years during the 1980s they ran a fruit shop on Nicholas St.

Before that they had a general store on Hill St at North Ipswich opposite the River 949 station.

"I love everything about her," Dick said.

"She's a good cook, we get on really well together, we've never had any arguments and we do everything together.

"She's my best friend, for sure."

Katie says Dick is very caring and honest, but most importantly the pair enjoy each other's company.

"That's what keeps us going," she said.

Katie and Dick celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Thursday with a special family dinner.