Couple celebrates 70th anniversary
IT WAS a good throw that caught the eye of Harry Mills as he was leaving on a cruise ship from Brisbane 72 years ago.
And the woman who threw the streamer on to the deck of the ship really caught his eye.
That woman – Dorothy – ended up marrying Harry, and on September 6 they will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.
Harry is now aged 95 and Dorothy 93.
But he still remembers that throw all those years ago.
“Dorothy was the only one (on the wharf) who could throw a streamer on to the deck,” he said.
While he was on the 16-day cruise to New Zealand, he befriended the people Dorothy was throwing the streamer to so he could wish them bon voyage.
When the ship returned to Brisbane, Harry was invited to a party at their house.
And Dorothy was there.
“I remembered her,” Harry said.
The couple courted for about a year until Harry popped the question.
They were engaged for a year before marrying at St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane on September 6, 1940.
They lived in Brisbane where Harry worked as an accountant until his retirement, and they moved to the Gold Coast.
Harry joked that his wife’s good throwing arm was ‘not a good advertisement for marriage’.
He said the secret to their long marriage was ‘you have to be in love to start with’. And a good sense of humour can be also thrown into the mix.
“On top of that, (you need) a very supportive family. Family is very important,” Harry said.
As for Dorothy, she simply said that Harry was ‘a great man’.
The couple moved to Ballina about a year ago to be closer to family.
Their son, Steve, lives at Alstonville. Daughter Christine Meagher lives in Sydney. Their other daughter, Janice Hochtl, lives overseas in Vienna, Austria.
Steve said their anniversary celebrations were held more than a week early as it was the most convenient time for family to visit.
Harry and Dorothy have 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.