Elwyn and Frances Seen’s marriage did not begin under the easiest of circumstances. Then just 15 years old, Frances was pregnant when the couple exchanged their vows at the Beaconsfield Methodist Church – about 40km from Launceston in Northern Tasmania – on 1 February 1958.
Since then they have raised four sons, have 10 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren and this year celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
“Church and community have always been an important focus for us as a family,” Frances said.
“Our faith and the church have always been there for us, in the good and bad times.”
Frances remembered how the congregation had stood alongside the couple when they married by arranging the service and helping their families out.
The same support was there again when their first son was born and had some medical difficulties which required almost around-the-clock care.
Elwyn and Frances have been active in the congregation ever since, with Frances involved as a community minister in the West Tamar area for many years.
The couple have been key players in the development of the Your Place concept which sees the church and its buildings open each and every day for people to come and visit.
Frances said she did not think there was any one reason why the couple had managed to achieve a noteable milestone.
“Patience, perseverance, prayer and reflection (are some of the factors),” she said.
“Marriages are not easy and any couple who tells you they have not had a fight is not telling the whole truth in my opinion.
“We always say we are a team.”