BEST FRIENDS: Diana and David Gairns celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last Thursday.
BEST FRIENDS: Diana and David Gairns celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last Thursday. Kathryn Lewis

A marriage built on friendship

DAVID and Diana Gairns are more than husband and wife - the Maclean couple have been best friends for more than 60 years.

Mr Gairns moved to Maclean in his early twenties to work as an an engineer with the then Harwood Shire.

Mrs Gairns, born and bred in Maclean, said she would pass her future husband on the street during her daily walk to work and their relationship quickly blossomed.

"I worked in the bank and I was going down to work each day, he was washing his car out the front and one thing led to another and we got to saying hello," Mrs Gairns said.

"I was playing basketball in a competition in Grafton and we needed transport so I was bold enough to ask him to transport us."

Mr Gairns said loss provided the pair with an early connection.

Diana and David Gairns celebrate 60 years together.
Diana and David Gairns celebrate their 60th anniversary. Contributed

"The thing brought us together, I lost my dad when I was very young, and Diana had lost her dad," he said.

"I think we had a bond straight away."

Mrs Gairns looks back fondly on their wedding which family and friends continue to honour by filling the couple's living room with bouquets of apricot poppies on their July 11 anniversary.

"The wedding day was wonderful, everything was local, we had local people do everything," Mrs Gairns said.

"The church was filled with lovely apricot poppies."

Next came their first home, on Woodford St, opposite the public school their three children, John, Kathrynand Robert, would attend.

Mrs Gairns said the family were heavily involved in the old Methodist Church, now the Uniting Church but also enjoyed their own hobbies.

"We tried to keep separate interests which I think is important so you don't totally lose your own identity," she said.

"David loved tennis, and in the early days, sailing."

After 60 years, three children and countless memories, Mr and Mrs Gairns offered some pearls of wisdom to maintaining a loving relationship.

"You must have a sense of humour in a marriage. You have to communicate, you have to compromise."