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Many keys to 60 years of successful wedded bliss

Ken and Lorraine Lee celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on April 17.
Ken and Lorraine Lee celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on April 17. Alistair Brightman

DESCRIBING their anniversary, Ken Lee jokes that he and his wife Lorraine are one of Hervey Bay's latest couples to "survive" 60 years of marriage.

Jokes aside, Ken said his wife was his rock - a solid partner who had never swayed with life's challenges, committed to their vows from the moment they married on April 17, 1954, at St John's Church of England, Campsie.

"We've had our ups and downs, of course, and things have gone wrong, but she's actually a rock," Ken said.

"Many get down and think 'I'll give up the ghost', but she doesn't.

"She has always been there for me - in spades, double spades."

In a twist of fate, the Kawungan couple actually met when Lorraine was 9 and Ken was 4, with both of their parents actively engaged in the performing arts.

A photo was taken of the two together in 1935 at the Bankstown Opera Company.

From childhood, they were both involved with theatre and all things theatrical ranging from acting, singing and directing, to composing and conducting a two-day speech seminar for Opera Queensland.

They also taught dramatic art.

Ken said it was inevitable they would one day meet again, but that wasn't until 1953.

They became "romantically attached", holding hands while viewing a performance of Shakespeare's Henry IV part 2 at Sydney's His Majesty's Theatre.

"She was absolutely gorgeous, and she still is," said a doting Ken.

"She's also very intelligent and very well educated too."

They each have opinions as to why their marriage has lasted so long.

Lorraine says good luck and listening to each other, while Ken believes being open and communicating has played a big part in their solid relationship.

Although they have both relished in a life-long love of theatre, they say their greatest love is their family, including their five children, Bronwyn, Bradford, Craig, Brett (dec), Sean (dec) and their grandchildren and great-grandchild.

"The highlight of our life together has certainly been the children, for sure," Ken said.

"Although we love show business, we would give all that away for our kids."

Now retired, Lorraine dabbles in genealogy at the library once a week and the two still pursue their passion for the performing arts with a life membership at the local Z-Pac Theatre.

Topics:  anniversary hervey bay theatre weddings



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