Patience is the key to a long and happy marriage, according to Norma Bidewell of Twin Waters who celebrated 60 years of marriage to her husband Brian on 9th April. But she answered the question with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye.
Chatting about their marriage in their waterfront apartment at Living Choice Twin Waters, it’s evident that Norma and Brian tease each other a lot, breaking into laughter often as they reflect on their long and interesting life.
They met on the train when they were just 12 and 13 as they travelled to their respective schools and were also friends at Cronulla Surf Club. Brian played rugby league for Cronulla and both have remained avid Cronulla Sharks fans ever since.
They started “dating” when Norma was 16 and married two years later, at St David’s Church in Arncliffe. Brian joined his father’s steel manufacturing company Davell Products Pty Limited, which has manufactured sheet metal products in Australia since 1946. Brian is particularly proud that his son-in-law is still managing the business, making it a third generation Australian-owned company.
In between having two daughters, Norma worked as a doctor’s secretary and comptometrist. One daughter lives close by, in Twin Waters, and the other lives in Sydney. They are proud grandparents of six grandchildren.
Their dining-room table was covered in anniversary cards, including official cards from the Queen, Governor-General, Prime Minister and Clive Palmer MP. They also received a huge bunch of flowers from Living Choice management and staff.
So, what was Brian’s answer to the question “what is the key to a long and happy marriage”? A devout Christian, he reached into his pocket and read from their address card – ‘Help me to remember, Lord, that nothing’s going to happen today that you and I can’t handle together’.
“That’s pretty much like our marriage – we can handle anything, as long as it’s together.”
Main photo: Brian and Norma Bidewell received congratulatory cards from the Queen, Prime Minister, Governor-General and local MP.
Inset: Brian and Norma on their wedding day on 9th April 1955.