WHEN a young Ron Dingley married his sweetheart Edna, he could only have hoped that 65 years later she would still be by his side.
But by his side she is, and said she'd do it all again.
Ron, now 92, recalls leaving the church with his new bride.
"There were two old ladies, complete strangers, and one looked at the other and said 'this marriage won't last'.
"I'd like to meet up with them today," he said.
The former PMG linesman was working in Monto when the daughter of the lady who washed his clothes caught his eye.
"He asked mum if I'd go out with him if he asked me," said Edna.
"She said no, but I said yes."
And after one date at the pictures, Edna said it must have been love at first sight.
Just over a year later, the young couple was on a prawn trawler, en route to Heron Island and their honeymoon.
"We love each other.
"We're old fashioned; it's the way we were brought up… and respect is such a big part," said Edna.
Ron jokes that he married Edna for her good looks, good cooking and her money. But in reality, he said they understand each other.
"We'd sit down and work things out before we made any decisions.
"Any differences we ironed out before we went to bed," he said.
"And I keep my mouth shut. I have to admit she's the boss."
They have two daughters, Sandra and Ronda, two grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and a treasure trove of memories.
Edna bought Ron a wedding ring for their 50th anniversary and he lost it, twice.
The first time it was found by a three-year-old in the meat section in Woolworths.
The second time it was found in the showers at Cool Waters Holiday Village where they spent many years of family holidays.
Edna wasn't so lucky with her ring. "Ron was fattening roosters and I had to feed them when he was away.
"A rooster bit the diamond out of my engagement ring… I never saw it again," she said.
Today the couple still share the home they've lived in for 64 years.
Ron says he misses fishing and playing tennis but he has a wonderful family.
"They kill us with kindness.
"I tell them I have very smart children and grandchildren, and it started at the top."
For Better or Worse
Ron and Edna Dingley were married in Monto on December 9, 1948.
On Monday they celebrate their 65th anniversary.
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