Laharum couple celebrate 72 years of marriage

FORMER Laharum couple Len and Topsy Dumesny credit good, clean living for their long, happy and healthy lives.

Aged 96 and 93 respectively, this will be the pair's 72nd year of marriage.

Smoking and drinking have never been part of their lifestyle.

"We could never have afforded it," Mr Dumesny said.

Whenever possible, the couple manage their own meals, although on New Year's Day they broke from tradition.

After a fruitless search for charcoal chicken, the couple settled for McDonalds and returned to their Horsham home to leisurely eat a Big Mac each.

Could they have imagined their lives as they are now back when they were a smitten young couple struggling to find time just to get married?

Probably not. 

Mr Dumesny was serving with the Royal Australian Air Force in 1942, during the Second World War.

"I didn't know if I was going to get leave until the last minute," he said.

"We made all the arrangements for the wedding in three to four days."

Mrs Dumesny described the ceremony as 'really austere' - in keeping with the times.

"Our best man Gil Le Plastrier's family was good enough to let us have the reception at his place," she said.

Even their honeymoon was rushed.

The pair travelled through McPherson Street, cans rattling behind their car, after their wedding to catch a train from Horsham to Melbourne.

They might never have made it if the train hadn't stopped for them.

"When we arrived we went to a hotel across the street from Spencer Street," Mr Dumesny said.

"They didn't have the room booked."

After a day in Melbourne, Mr Dumesny disembarked for duty once more.

Constant throughout all the years has been the couple's commitment to each other, an active interest in their community and a sharp wit.

Their daughter Libby Peucker said she was proud of her parents, who she believed to be the longest-married Wimmera couple still living independently in their own home.

"It's a fantastic achievement," she said.

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