Sixty years together and family is all that matters
A LOVE that flourished in the Boyne Valley over 60 years ago has been celebrated this weekend, with the bond between Irene and Noel Wex as evident as ever.
The proud couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Saturday night surrounded by family at their home of 25 years in Telina.
With five children, 11 grand children and an eighth great grandchild due to arrive in October, their family is the pair's greatest achievement since they met.
It was an opportunity for the couple to reflect on a life of memories, including when they met at the Ubobo picture theatre.
"She came to the pictures and I was on the door that night," Noel remembers.
"It was three and six pence to get on the door, and she had dropped her sixpence.
"So I let her in and I've been paying for it ever since."
Despite Noel's humour, it was evident that his love for Irene is as strong as it had ever been.
The couple met when Irene was just 15 and Noel 19.
Despite having lived only 10 miles apart in Ubobo and Builyan for their lives, the pair had oddly never met before.
With Irene hard at work on her parents' farm and Noel working in timber contract for the rail, they spent most of their time together on weekends.
"We used to play tennis, go dancing and swimming," Irene said.
"We belonged to a junior farmers group in the valley so we used to play against the other small centres in different sport.
"I was so busy working for Dad chasing cattle and doing farm work with him, so we got together on the weekends."
Irene and Noel married in Ubobo in front of 50 wedding guests.
Since then they have lived around the Gladstone region, before their home in Telina was built.
Ironically enough, Noel has never actually proposed to his bride of 60 years.
"We just talked about getting married, we never went through this big proposal thing," Irene said.
"It was just a case of when we get married one day."
The pair said the key to a long and happy marriage was the ability to simply get along, work hard and not take anything for granted.
"We never had much, we just had dreams of what we might have one day," Irene said.
"I don't think we've ever had any real fights.
"We've had arguments though I'm sure, but you just never think that this is the end."
Noel, however, believes he knew the secret to Irene's heart right from day one.
"You just have to learn to say 'yes dear' very quickly."