Vintage Valentines

uniting agewell couple

Alan and Phyllis Clayton.

Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate all things to do with love. And as the saying goes, you are never too old for love.

Wartime sweethearts Norwood Thomas and Joyce Morris recently reunited after 71 years apart.

Norwood is a 93-year-old former paratrooper from America while 88-year-old Joyce hailed from the UK.  The couple met by the Thames in London, but were separated after World War II.

However, thanks to the help of modern technology, the couple reconnected on Skype. Norwood flew to Adelaide earlier this week and the couple plans to spend Valentine’s Day together.

If you are looking for love advice this Valentine’s Day, you may learn a lesson or two from America’s longest married couple.

104-year-old John Betar and 100-year-old Ann Betar have been married for more than 83 years. They will share marital advice on Twitter this Valentine’s Day. Simply tweet at @handy using the hashtag #LongestLove to pass on your questions to John and Ann.

In Uniting AgeWell’s Kings Meadows Community, a couple is celebrating 65 years of married life.

Phyllis was the track runner who raced against Shirley Strickland and Marjorie Jackson; Alan was the City South footballer and coach her father invited to train with them.

The Claytons met in 1948, married in 1950 and last year, on December 16, they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.

The devoted couple, aged 87 and 85 respectively, had their special milestone recognised with letters from Queen Elizabeth II and Governor General Peter Cosgrove AM.

Phyllis said the recipe to their successful marriage is their mutual love of sports, family and travel – and that they do everything together.

“We’re a very athletic family, all our children grew up loving and playing sports,” Phyllis said.

“We’ve also travelled to many places around Australia together.”

The pair married at the Church of Christ in Launceston, where Phyllis’ parents were also married, and set up home in the local area.

Alan was a linesman at Telecom (now known as Telstra) for almost 40 years, a life member of City South Football Club and, in his spare time, trained athletes.  Phyllis was a Tasmanian running champion who raced against Shirley Strickland and Marjorie Jackson at the national championships before the 1952 Olympics, played hockey and netball – and loved growing tomatoes.

They have two children, five grandchildren and seven great grand-daughters.

They moved into Uniting AgeWell’s Kings Meadows Community early last year.

Staff at Kings Meadows said Alan and Phyllis still do everything together and complete each other’s sentences.

Alan and Phyllis celebrated their milestone at a small gathering with friends and family.


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One Response to “Vintage Valentines”

  1. Wendy McDonald

    Two couples associated with Yallourn North UCA celebrating their diamond wedding anniversaries this week. Mentioned to me as I led worship there this morning.