Still going strong - John and Pam celebrate 60 years together

By Simon Ruppert

John and Pam Brown celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary on July 2 with a quiet celebration at their Benalla home.

Sixty years after the ceremony the two still feel like they are on their honeymoon.

“We were married in Benalla at the Church of England Church on Arundel St,” John said.

“It was the middle of winter, it was showering rain, similar to today.

Still in love after 60 years

“It was a nice ceremony, but it doesn't seem like it was that long ago.

“I can't remember why we went for a winter wedding, I think Pam was getting a bit impatient, so I thought we'd better do it.”

The pair, who have lived in Benalla most of their lives, met about 63 years ago at work.

“I originally came from Mytleford, and Pam came from Violet Town,” John said.

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“Pam was already working in Benalla and living here, and I came here for work, in the old Post Office.

“Which is where Pam worked.”

The old saying about finishing each others’ sentences is clearly noticeable in the way they tell a story - and Pam took over this one.

“It is rather funny because I was upstairs working as a telephonist and I had to take some money down that morning,” Pam said.

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“So I went down the stairs with this money and I gave it to a guy called Nutsey.

“I turned to go and he said no, not yet.

“I said Nutsey, we're flat-tac upstairs, and he said you're not too flat-tac for this.

“The next thing I know he's pushes me out the door and he said Browny this is Symesy and Symesy this is Browny. That is how we met.

Photos of Pam and Johns wedding are displayed proudly in the couple's Benalla home

“I ran off at first, but he must have talked me around as we started dating not long after that.”

John had been busy at work when Nutsey made the introduction.

“I was a morse-code operator, sending telegrams,” John said.

“Through the door form the public area in the post office, near the counter, was the telegraph room.

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“So we both worked in the same building, I was downstairs, and Pam was upstairs.”

When the subject of their first date was raised John said he thought it was Pam who first asked him out.

“I did not!" Pam interjected with a burst of laughter.

John, also laughing admitted he made the first move.

“I think what attracted Pam was that I used to race motor boats, over on the Hume Weir and at Lake Mulwala,” he said continuing the laughter.

“We were engaged for about two to three years.

“After we were married we built our home in Benalla, and we've built another two since then, so we must like it here.

“Our daughter Mandy, she is local.

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“She is a school teacher.

And our son, he's with Telstra over in Shepparton, so not too far away.

“And we have four grandchildren.”

Thanks to COVID-19 restrictions the couple has not had a chance to celebrate.

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“When the days get nicer we will get a chance to celebrate properly, maybe we'll get away for a bit,” Pam said.

“We are low-key and didn't tell too many people about the anniversary, but we will celebrate when the weather is a bit nicer.”

When it comes to advice for young couples hoping to be celebrating a diamond wedding anniversary one day Pam said the most important thing was communication.

“Communication is the key. That, and we have always gone out together,” she said.

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“We've never been apart for along time.

“Apart from isolated instances, we've had holidays together.

“Even our trips to the supermarket we do as a couple.

“Everywhere we went, we went together. That's my advice.”

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