HORSHAM couple Eric and Norma Eltze will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on Saturday.
The pair live in a house adjoining Sunnyside Lutheran Retirement Village.
The years have taken some toll on their bodies, but have not faded their memories nor their wit.
At 91, Mrs Eltze is hard of hearing and has limited use of her right leg, using a walking frame to move about.
Her husband is her second pair of ears and her primary carer.
Mr Eltze is remarkably sprightly for a 93-year-old, especially for one who had his hip replaced in June.
Asked whether he thought their marriage had kept them healthy, he said: “It must have.
“It didn’t do us any harm, anyway.”
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They were fresh-faced and young when they met.
She was about 19 years old; he was 21, with a blossoming career at a Quantong orchard.
Mr Eltze said their marriage on August 16, 1944 was a humble affair.
“It was during the war time,” he said.
“There weren’t very big weddings then.”
They travelled the Great Ocean Road for their honeymoon, before returning to life at the orchard.
Mrs Eltze supported her husband’s career, catering for a crowd of about 30 workers every Sunday during fruit-picking season.
Mr Eltze went on to teach at Longerenong College.
The pair had seven children and will celebrate their anniversary with their extended family at Horsham RSL on Saturday.
They have 21 grandchildren, 35 great grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.
Mrs Eltze said the secret to a 70-year marriage was a strong personal connection.
“We’re just happy together,” she said.
Mr Eltze said the years flew by when you got along well.
“You don’t realise it is that long you’ve been married,” he said.
The pair received congratulatory letters from dignitaries including the Queen, Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty.
One of their daughters, Leanne Murphy, said their marriage was a real blessing.
“It’s just so remarkable. I am so thrilled for them to get so far,” she said.