Don and Marlene Drayton celebrate 60 years of marriage

By Jared Prestwidge

KYABRAM residents Don and Marlene Drayton celebrated their 60-year wedding anniversary on Thursday, July 23.

Having met at a local dance back in 1959, it was love at first sight for Marlene (17) and Don (24); they were engaged after eight months and married three months later at the Baptist Church.

Don, originally from Bulahdelah in NSW, was visiting Kyabram for the cannery season, but once he met Marlene he never left.

Marlene, a born and bred Ky girl, worked 55 years as a veterinary nurse at Kyabram Veterinary Clinic and is the president of the senior citizens’ club.

The couple said they had no time for children but had plenty for their beloved pets.

“Animals were always our family,” Marlene said.

Don and Marlene were proud parents of several animals over the years – from dogs, to cats, to cattle.

And after retiring in 1995, Don took to training racehorses.

“We won quite a few (races) around the country and a couple in Melbourne. We sold one horse to someone in Hong Kong and we were able to buy the unit we’re in now,” Don said.

But Don stops short of labelling himself a horse whisperer, as one day one of his prospects decided to clamp down and shatter his wrist, leaving him with scars to this day.

Marlene said her husband had proved himself quite the injury magnet on their Murrumba Rd farm, and was happy to retire to their current home in town.

“He was injury-prone being on the farm, so I was glad to get him into town,” she said.

Looking back over the past 60 years together, Don and Marlene agreed that having excellent communication and respecting each other’s space were big reasons why they've made it to such an amazing milestone.

“Every marriage has their ups and downs. We might have the odd argument or whatever but that happens,” Marlene said.

“He’s got a great sense of humour. I’ve been with Don for 60 years and I still love him.”

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