Joyce and Geoff Baker have spent more than six decades raising their children and travelling the world together.
The happy couple celebrate their diamond (60th) wedding anniversary today - Valentine’s Day.
They met aged 16, walking home together, from their church youth group in Melbourne.
“I was at night school and Joyce was at school, so we’d talk about history or geography, whatever we were studying, and it developed from there,” Geoff said.
In 1957, Geoff went to work in Canberra, as a public servant in the immigration department. However, he would take the overnight bus back to see Joyce regularly, and soon proposed.
They were married in Melbourne in 1959, by their favourite minister. Joyce wore a white dress, with a long train, that had been made for her. (Their third daughter wore the same dress at her wedding in Bowning.)
Geoff and Joyce have four daughters: Lynette was born in 1961, Alison in ‘63, Bronwyn in ‘66 and Robyn in ‘68.
When Lynette was just six months old, they moved to London for Geoff’s work, which was interviewing those who wanted to migrate to Australia.
It wasn’t easy; it took six weeks to get to the UK by ship and it was the thick of winter when they arrived.
However, it didn’t put them off travelling. The couple spent 10 years between the UK, Fiji, and Belgrade, Serbia, eventually with all four children. They returned when the girls were a little older to allow them to settle.
Geoff retired in 1991 and they moved closer to Bronwyn in Bowning, in 2002. Today, they live near town, in Yass.
They say their daughters and their patience for one another got them through all those years, and they still see their original youth group from Melbourne.
“We are lucky,” Geoff said. “We have our four girls, we’ve travelled and we have our health.”