ROCHESTER’S Edwin and Joan Keele are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary on Thursday, December 5.
And as they passed the milestone the couple took it in their stride, simply thankful for the time they have spent together.
Edwin and Joan were both students at the old Echuca High School back in the 1950s but were never acquainted.
But once they eventually met through mutual friends, they were inseparable.
Having bonded over their mutual love for sport and competition (Edwin played football for Bamawm and Joan played netball for Echuca), the couple were married in 1959 and established themselves as dairy farmers in the Bamawm extension.
They now reside in a comfortable home in Rochester, a community they make sure to stay involved in.
Edwin spends a lot of his time with the Gideon Ministry, while Joan has sewn countless deb ball and wedding dresses for family members and fellow residents over the years.
When quizzed by the countless people wanting to know how they have managed to stay together for so many years, Edwin and Joan say the answer is simple — by sharing, understanding and putting in the hard work.
“We believe in having our own independent interests, whether that be football or sowing, and bringing it together and sharing them at home,” Edwin said.
“And in that sharing you help each other, that’s what builds that bond. And it’s a life-long bond.”
In the Keele household, there is nothing that cannot be settled over a conversation at the dinner table.
Edwin and Joan made sure to pass those values down to their five children, Jill, Donna, Simon, Julie and Susan.
Between their trips away in the caravan, tending to the garden and their eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, the pair are always on the move.
But that is not to say they don’t enjoy the more laid-back aspects of retirement.
After all, Rochester is their home, and Joan said it will stay that way.
“We have a real freedom to live our own lives,” she said.
“It’s got everything you need like the bank, the hospital, the supermarket … and it’s close to Echuca where I’ve spent a lot of my time, which I love.”
And it in Rochester where Edwin and Joan will spend their special day, nice and quiet with the people they hold dearest.
“Sharing is the most important thing to me,” Edwin said.
“Highlights come all the time. Joan and I have always been able to share those highlights and that’s what’s important.”