THE decision to skip a night’s study 64 years ago has led to 60 years of wedded bliss for Kiama Downs couple June and Ferrers Smith.
The couple met at a hockey club dance in Sydney, but it was by chance that June even attended.
“I was studying pharmacy at university and the lady next door’s two sons played hockey in the Canterbury-Bankstown competition and she convinced me I should go to the dance – I think it was probably uni holidays and the pressure was off study a little,” Mrs Smith said.
Mr Smith was playing hockey in the competition and the couple met at the dance and married after a four-year courtship.
The couple were married on August 22, 1953 at St Pauls Anglican Church at Burwood after June had completed her pharmacy degree and Ferrers qualifield as a secondary school teacher.
He taught at 16 schools in Sydney west and south west, eventually teaching for 41 years and retired as deputy principle of Ingelburn High School. The couple bought up their two children in Ingleburn where they lived for 40 years.
“I really enjoyed teaching, but think I got out at the right time – in fact they took capital punishment (the cane) out of schools the year I retired,” he said.
After they both retired from work, they felt it was time for a sea change and moved to Kiama 18 years ago.
“We have loved it hear, particularly considering the extremes of temperatures in Ingelburn and we are pleased we made the move.” Mrs Smith said.
Apart from her work as a pharmacist, June was actively involved in sport, in particular golf where she was a member of the Nepean Golf Association for 25 years, including five as president, while she was also a charter member of the Ingelburn Ladies VIEW Club and involved with the Quota club.
As for advice on a successful 60 years of marriage, Ferrers said tolerance and understanding were pivotal.
“Working together and setting parenting policies so the kids couldn’t play you against each other and understanding each-others needs are important, while we loved spending time together going to dances,” he added.