Royal ‘diamond’ cheers for 60th anniversary
NOOSAVILLE couple Keith and Valda Bracken celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on Thursday, although they've already enjoyed a lead-up for two weeks.
And while family and friends will share the joy of their special day, their letterbox has received congratulations from a range of prominent people, from Tony Wellington and Sandy Bolton, to Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien, Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey, Governor-General David Hurley, PM Scott Morrison - even a missive from Queen Elizabeth.
Keith and Valda moved from Sydney to Noosa in 1980 and established the Blue River Lodge holiday apartments on Gympie Terrace, which they sold five years ago.
"We met at a wedding, my brother's; I'm second of five and was his best man," Keith said. "There was a cousin of the bride there. It was love at first sight.
"I still don't know how I got the gumption to go and say hello to her."
He lived in Sydney at Granville, she at Peakhurst, and they would catch the train to Sydney on Saturday nights to meet up, enjoying a four-year romance, marriage and buying a home.
"We came to Noosa 40 years ago and bought a two-apartment holiday complex with residence upstairs," Keith said.
"About 2002 we knocked that joint down and built a duplex; it's still there on the corner of The Cockleshell and Gympie Terrace.
"It's been a wonderful place to be. No matter where you go it's always nice to come back here."
And what's the secret to such matrimonial longevity?
"Love has kept us together," Valda said. "Love, commitment and pride for each other."
"We have three daughters, three granddaughters, three grandsons, a great-granddaughter and a great-grandson on the way," Valda said.
"Our anniversary celebrations began in Sydney with lifelong friends. We celebrated at the Gold Coast with some family. It has all been exciting."