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Never too old for marriage

In love and getting married today are Mavis Dickin, 82, and Ross McDonald, 87, of Ballina.
In love and getting married today are Mavis Dickin, 82, and Ross McDonald, 87, of Ballina. Jacklyn Wagner

WHEN 82-year-old Mavis Dickin marries 87-year-old Ross McDonald in Ballinatoday it will be because of a yellow handkerchief.

At least that’s how Mr McDonald tells it.

He has a suspicion his bride-to-be dropped her yellow handkerchief on purpose when the two were at a mutual friend’s house more than a decade ago.

Mr McDonald picked it up, twice as he recalls, and it set in train a story which culminates at St Mary’s Anglican Church today.

While both remember the handkerchief dropping incident, Ms Dickin gently questioned Mr McDonald’s powers of persuasion when they spoke to the Northern Star in the lead-up to their wedding. She insists that there was a long period where Mr McDonald failed to catch her eye.

“We used to go (to our mutual friend’s house) and I didn’t take any notice of who this tall man was going there,” she said.

Despite this, we now know that Ms Dickin did notice Mr McDonald eventually.

What’s refreshing is that, in contrast to the tell-all encounters all around us, Ms Dickin and Mr McDonald are content to keep some things discreet.

Ms Dickin gave us the location of their first kiss – it was at her former house – but that was it.

“I’m not going to tell you any more,” Mr McDonaldadded.

After quite a few kisses in between, Mr McDonald proposed last year.

Both said they were not expecting to find another companion when both had been in previously long-term marriages.

“I never even contemplated it ever again,” Ms Dickin said.

“But it’s really nice. We are good companions. We joke a lot and care very much about each other.”

After losing his first wife to cancer after a 56-year marriage, Mr McDonald admits he was ‘like a ship without a rudder’ for two years.

“And then I met Mavis,” he said.

“Now I have a new object in life.”

This new object has been welcomed by the children of both marriages, as well as their friends.

Ms Dickin’s son will give her away.

After the celebration and a honeymoon Mr and Mrs McDonald will settle back into life as best friends.

Ms Dickin said finding love later in life would work for others if it’s meant to.

“There’s no trick,” she said.

Well, maybe nothing more tricky than a cleverly dropped handkerchief.



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