There are not many people who get to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary, however, Bill and Joan Davidson are among the rare few.
Bill and Joan were married on April 12, 1952, the day after Joan's 24th birthday.
The couple officially met at a dance at Quirindi, where Joan lived and worked at a stock and station agent business, but they had unknowingly crossed paths before.
Bill was from Newcastle and was visiting relatives in the area.
"I was out taking photos and Joan was the Back to Quirindi Week Sports Queen on a truck standing up. I didn't know who she was!" Bill recalls.
Joan didn't remember Bill from that occasion, but does remember him often wolf whistling at her and a friend as they walked past a building site, when he was in town for 12 months working as a builder.
Twelve months after meeting at the dance, the couple married and settled in Newcastle, where Bill built their own house.
Three baby boys followed, first Peter, then twins Lee and Ross two and a half years later.
In 1960 Bill applied for a job as a building inspector with Taree Municipal Council and bought a house in Taree. Two years later Bill was appointed council's Chief Health and Building Surveyor, and he kept the job until he retired in 1992.
The couple still live in the same house they purchased in 1960, however Bill has made significant changes to it over the years.
"Bill said 'I'll make it nice for you', and that's what happened," Joan said.
The Davidson's had a very active social life. Bill was a keen sportsperson and played tennis and golf. He was the president of the VJ Sabo Sailing Club, and the boys became good sailors. He was also the president of Taree and District Junior League.
Bill was an Apex member, and built the Apex Lookout at Bays Hill in Taree West.
"We made a lot of friends in Apex," Joan said.
Joan liked cooking, and dinner parties were a big part of their life.
"I've done hostess cooking, Chinese cooking, Italian cooking..." Joan remembers.
Joan organised fashion shows to raise funds for the school the children went to. She also worked as a teachers aid at Taree High School.
The couple have travelled extensively. Their first trip was to London to visit their son Peter, who worked as an architect in London for 20 years. Then followed a tour around Europe, where they made friends who they still keep in touch with. They have also travelled around Asia.
These days, they live quietly, as their friends have all passed on and the issues that come with age affect their mobility.
Peter lives in Victoria and Lee lives in Queensland, but Ross lives in Old Bar.
"Since I've had my fall and Bill's been sick, our son Ross has been very good to us," Joan said.
I just love her.- Bill Davidson
They have three grandchildren, and are particularly close with Tara, who Joan looked after often when Tara was a child. They don't get to see her much, or their great grand daughter Thea, as Tara is a doctor in Kalbarri in Western Australia.
Although Joan says their children could not come to help them celebrate their 70th anniversary, Tara contributed to the occasion by getting on the phone in WA and organising a delivery of Chinese takeaway for the couple. Tara had also organised the delivery of a pizza the night before for Joan's 94th birthday.
Along with the Chinese food, Bill and Joan celebrated quietly with neighbours.
"We opened up a bottle of bubbly and that's all we did," Bill said.
When asked what the secret was to staying married for 70 years, Bill simply said, "I just love her."
"Although I'm older than Bill, he's always made the decisions," Joan added. "We just seem to go along together."
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