AFTER 56 years of marriage, Patricia and Frank Timberlake have celebrated their first Valentine's Day together.

The born and bred Northern Rivers couple never saw the need to get wrapped up in the world-wide day of love until now.

More than half an century of marriage called for a celebration of the pair's first Valentine's Day, said Community Care Coordinator at the Whiddon Group, Hannah Rawlings.

A delicious baked dinner was prepared by Ms Rawlings to make the day very special for Frank and Pat, who met her husband at 17.

But there was no rushing into marriage for Pat, who vowed never to marry too young and she encouraged other young women to be patient.

"For the simple reason they don't know their own minds and I always declared I wouldn't get married until 23 and I did it," Pat said.

Patricia and Frank Timberlake
Patricia and Frank Timberlake Belinda Howell

Fast-forward more than five decades, four children and eight grandchildren later, Frank and Pat pondered over their romantic lunch what the key is to a long-lasting marriage.

Pat said one of the secrets to an enduring partnership is all about agreeing on things together and a bit of tolerance.

"Togetherness I reckon, we've been together that many years I wouldn't know what to do without him," Pat said.

Years as a couple combined with good relations between their families instilled confidence in Frank that he and Pat were a perfect match.

"I knew everything was right because we'd been going together for so long, our family's were in favour of it, everything was right," Frank said.

A touch of romance every night has helped maintain that marital spark for 56 years said Pat.

"Every night we say good night with a kiss," she said.