The key to a happy marriage is respect ... and wine
BALLINA residents John and Sally Lowry will be celebrating tomorrow their 60th wedding anniversary.
The couple met in Sydney, at the beach, when she was 14 and he was 16. It was four years later than they became a couple, and married on November 21, 1959.
The Lowrys have retired in Ballina, where they stay active by playing bowls, and have similar and separate hobbies, but the friendship, mutual respect and romance is still present between the couple.
"I think she's the cleverest person I've ever met," John said.
"I honestly really do think so; the things this woman can do... no matter what he turns her hand to, she finishes up at the top of the tree.
"I've got great respect for her ability... and she rouses on me a lot, I'm not allowed to climb on ladders! I'm not allowed to do lots of things! I've just adjusted to Sally's instructions," he semi-jokes.
"In all seriously, the key (to a long marriage) is mutual respect," he said.
The couple raised two daughters who live locally and in Tamworth.
"We are blessed; we have no major health issues, we have a very pleasant lives," John said.
"A glass of wine helps!" adds Sally, also semi-joking.
"When we were working we used to go fishing together a lot, but now we buy the fish," she added.
The couple are very well known around the Lismore and Ballina areas: they used to volunteer for Meal on Wheels and the Ex Services Club, and both John and Sally had very successful careers in retail.
What not everyone knows is that they started their Northern Rivers treechange experience in Rosebank, with a stint as grazier farmers in 1972.
"I was working as in insurance sales for eight years in the AMP," John said, and then Sally added "and then you decided to become a grazier!"
"It was a lovely way of life," Sally said.
"In those days people from Sydney never moved to a beautiful farm in Rosebank to become farmers or graziers, we were one of the first people to move from the city," he added.
"But the American beef market collapsed, so we subdivided and sold the place.
"We then moved to Ballina and started our retail careers in Lismore, because we had a family to care for and two lovely daughters.
"I knew a fellow that had just started City Toyota in Lismore and I actually bought a Corona off him, and the owner asked me to sit in the car and just talk to people, and I worked there for 20 years and retired as the sales manager
"Sally was in business nearby in Molesworth Street in ladies apparel, and we both had a fantastic time in our respective jobs," he added.