SIXTY years is a long time to stick with anything, but three loved up Leeton couples have proven it is not impossible.
Warren and Betty Kirkup, Bob and Kathleen Maskus and Tom and Jan Knagge are all marking their 60th wedding anniversaries, with the milestone made even more special by the fact the trio of couples all formally lived near each other on farming properties at Gogeldrie.
The Kirkups and the Knagges were married on the same day on January 25, 60 years ago at St Joseph’s Catholic Church.
For Mr and Mrs Maskus, they shared their day with Kathleen’s sister and her husband on February 8 in a double wedding at St Peter’s Anglican Church.
All three couples acknowledged 60 years was a long time, but all were pleased their marriages were continuing to go the distance.
The Kirkups had four children – Barry, Deborah, Lyndall and Janine, the Knagges have two sons Garry and Matthew and the Maskus’ also have four adopted children Jim, Maree, Kathryn and Andrew.
Grandchildren and great grand children have followed, with the couples happy to look back on the achievements of their children with a feeling of pride.
Looking back on how they first met, the Kirkups recalled their chance encounter at a ball.
“My mate took me to the ball and Betty’s mum was a judge there so that’s how we met,” Mr Kirkup said.
The Knagge’s met at a social run by the Catholic Youth Club, while Mr Maskus was one day riding his horse near where a young Kathleen was playing tennis in Fivebough. The horse led him right to the courts and that was where it all started.
When asked why their marriages had lasted the test of time, each of the couples had similar responses.
“You have to work at it,” the Knagges agreed. “There’s always highs and lows.”
The Kirkups recommended always looking out for each other and having good communication.
The three couples remain friends and were all happy for each other that they had been able to reach the significant milestone.
The Knagges and Kirkups marked the occasion with their families during quiet dinners at local restaurants.
The Maskus’ will be celebrating with their family and friends at a gathering on Saturday.
Having respect for each other was one piece of advice the Maskus’ had for couples getting married today.
“There’s a lot of give and take,” Mrs Maskus said.
“There’s always going to be ups and downs.”
Mr Maskus agreed and said as long as you respected each other that’s when the love would continue to stay strong through the years and beyond.