Wollongbar couple Gloria and John O’Neill met through the Connections section of The Northern Star classifieds.
Wollongbar couple Gloria and John O’Neill met through the Connections section of The Northern Star classifieds. Cathy Adams

Love found through The Star

LIFE hasn’t always been easy for Wollongbar woman Gloria O’Neill.

In 1969, the family home at Wiangaree burnt to the ground.

“We got a phone call from someone telling us that the house was on fire,” she said.

“I knew my brother, who is deaf, was inside.

“It was just luck that someone passing by went inside to check and they saved him.”

Tragedy struck again in 1990 when her 22-year-old son was killed in an horrific car accident while he was driving between Wiangaree and Kyogle.

But thankfully she’s had good luck with the men in her life, and credits The Northern Star for helping her find them.

Mrs O’Neill met her first husband in the early 1960s, when she answered an advertisement in the personals section of the paper.

They married in 1973 and had more than 30 happy years together until his death inDecember 2006.

The next couple of years were tough for Mrs O’Neill.

She mourned her husband and was looking for someone to keep her company.

In 2007, when someone suggested she check out the Ultimate Connections section of The Northern Star, she was reluctant.

“But then I thought, ‘I might as well give it a go’,” she said.

“When John put the ad in the paper he said he wanted someone who didn’t drink, didn’t smoke and didn’t gamble.

“So we were compatible because I don’t do those things either.

“That’s how we met.”

The O’Neills are still going strong, and celebrated their two-year wedding anniversary last week.

Mr O’Neill went on dates with eight other women who responded to his advertisement before realising that Gloria was the one for him.

“I checked the phone number where she lived and realised it was out at Wiangaree,” he said.

“I thought, ‘I’m not going out there’.

“But then I decided to take my brother with me for morning tea.”

It was Gloria’s ‘wonderful’ lemonade scones that sealed the deal.

The pair hit it off and became friends, before a spur-of-the-moment decision to get married while holidaying in Queenstown, New Zealand, in 2008.

“We got married off the street – I wasn’t even dressed properly,” Mrs O’Neill said.

“We got a young couple walking past to be our witnesses.”

John says his wife is ‘a good cook, honest and good looking’.

“I do love her,” he said.

“She hasn’t had it real easy in life.”



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