‘Honesty’ and ‘love’ the secret to a long marriage

Owen and Hazel Forsdike celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.

A couple who met in Sunday School in the 1930s have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary at Southhaven Aged Care in Padstow Heights among family and friends.

Owen and Hazel Forsdike were married in 1948 in Leicester, England, after meeting years before and growing up at youth group together.

“The first time we met was in Sunday School, and I was nine years old,” Owen said.

They started courting when he was around 18 years old, and married three years later before returning to Australia, his country of birth.

They travelled on the Chitral for five weeks, the maiden voyage for the ship after it had been refitted as a passenger liner after the War.

Owen and Hazel settled in Smithfield, where he built the house they lived in for the next 52 years and raised six children.

“We had a big backyard, and all the kids had good times there. We had a swimming pool in the backyard for awhile, then we had chickens and a vegie garden. We weren’t lazy,” Owen said.

Owen worked as an engineer pattern-maker, a trade he learnt in England, and then as a salesman selling building supplies.

The couple are Christadelphians, and attribute their shared beliefs to keeping them together throughout their marriage.

“We’ve always been honest and open with each other all the way, and we have the truth of the scriptures as we understand them that has held us together,” Owen said.

“Honesty and love. We trusted each other and we still do.”

Family and friends organised a morning tea at Southhaven on July 17 to celebrate their 70 years together.