‘‘Marriage has to be a two way street.’’
That’s what Paul and Judy Ryan say is the secret to a long and prosperous marriage after celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on Friday.
The couple met when Judy worked alongside Paul’s sister in 1966 at the Attorney-General’s Department in Melbourne.
Paul ‘‘made the first move’’ when he invited Judy out for lunch with his sister Geraldine and a friend.
‘‘I said to my sister, ‘I’m taking you, Frank and that bird (Judy) for lunch’,’’ Paul recalled.
Paul and Judy ‘‘hit it off right away’’ and were engaged in 1967 before tying the knot on April 20, 1968.
They were married in front of 80 guests at St Patrick’s Church in Murrumbeena, Melbourne.
Straight after their two-week honeymoon the couple moved to Jerilderie.
‘‘We were originally going to live in Berrigan,’’ Judy said.
‘‘A friend of Paul’s who owned a business in Jerilderie at the time suggested we buy his sister’s house.
‘‘We went and spoke to her and end up buying her house.’’
The couple have been blessed with three children - Michael, Helene and Chris - and six grandchildren, Gabriel, Lara, Sheridan, Ethan, James and William.
Paul established himself as a respected builder in town and Judy is well known for her community work, and started off by helping out with Paul’s book work.
Both gave their opinions to a long-lasting marriage when talking to the Southern Riverina News last week.
‘‘Compromise has been the trick — a bit of give and take, I give and he takes,’’ Judy joked.
‘‘I always used to tell Paul, ‘I’d walk out on you but my parents don’t want me!’
‘‘We’ve been lucky that establishing good friends here in Jerilderie has strengthened our relationship.’’
Paul believes the key to a lasting marriage is to be happy with the simple things.
‘‘Today everyone has to have a new house and a new car.
‘‘We were lucky to buy a house that was fully furnished with a TV and lawn mower all thrown in.
‘‘You must be prepared to work hard and rise above any problems that occur.
‘‘You need to be involved in stuff; I don’t know how you can live in a small town and not be involved,’’ he said.
Both recalled a funny memory from their time together when the annual Jerilderie Show was still running.
‘‘There was a competition for the best dressed woman in wool and I think I was the only one who dressed in it,’’ Judy said.
‘‘There was a picture taken by the Weekly Times and the next week we were in Richmond (Melbourne) and Paul walked into the newsagent to buy a paper.
‘‘He looked down and said ‘What the bloody hell are you doing there?’ Naturally the woman behind the counter was shocked and he had to explain his wife dressed in nothing but wool was on the front page of the newspaper!’’
Although their anniversary was on Friday, the couple gathered with family and friends three weeks ago to celebrate the special occasion.