While a bunch of flowers never goes astray, it’s a sense of humour, trust and loyalty that are the secrets to a good marriage, according to a Canberra couple that have spent more than six decades together.
Sharing their story for Valentine’s Day, Glynn and Dawn McKay laughed about how their romance survived even when Mr McKay forgot to put stamps on the aerogram he sent from the United Kingdom to Mrs McKay’s father to ask for her hand in marriage.
“We waited and we waited and it didn’t come and when it arrived Dad had to pay for it because he forgot to put stamps on it,” Mrs McKay said
“I didn’t forget, I was just testing him!” Mr McKay adds.
The McKays met on the beach at Caloundra in December 1954, when Mr McKay and his friend asked to join Dawn’s family in a game of cricket. “Every time Glynn bowled, I was behind the wickets and he’d wink,” Mrs McKay said.
They courted for two years before getting married in December 1956, with much of the romance through aerograms and a few phone calls while Mr McKay spent time away from Australia.
Mrs McKay said love can mean many things.
“It means affection, it certainly means loyalty and trust, acceptance, friendship – that’s really really important – all those things.
After living in Queensland when they were first married, they have been in Canberra for almost 40 years, where their children, a daughter, and a son who passed away five years ago, also started families.
They now have four granddaughters and a great-grandchild on the way. The couple now live at Goodwin Village in Monash.
Mr McKay has dementia, a challenge which they meet with humour.
“I woke up the other morning and rolled over and there was this sweet young thing in bed with me and I gave her a nudge and said you better be gone before the Mrs comes back, and you know what she said ‘just go back to sleep will ya?'” Mr McKay said.
When it comes to romance, Mrs McKay said she had received flowers every month over the years, but it was the every day things that were important.
“Each day we say that we love each other and we appreciate each other, we’ve always done that haven’t we?” Mrs McKay said, to which Mr McKay replied “yes, dear”.