Some things are just meant to be.
Just ask Joan and Gordon Gulliver, who met after being set up on a blind date – that neither of them wanted to go on – and recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
“I had just finished national service and I was at home, feeling pretty washed out and jaded when a friend of mine, who worked in the same organisation as Joan, told me I was going to a ball … he said, ‘we’ve got a little office girl here that thinks that you’re taking her, you’ve got to go’,” Mr Gulliver said.
“We both ended up going, and we just seemed to click, and it went on from there.”
Mrs Gulliver added: “My friend told me that Gordon had broken up with his girlfriend and was broken-hearted, and it wasn’t true! I had no intentions of going.”
The couple dated for a year before getting married on April 27, 1957 at the Barkly Street Methodist Church in West Footscray.
Mr Gulliver, then 22, thought his 19-year-old bride had stood him up at the altar when Joan was 30 minutes late, but no – the blushing bride lost track of time taking photos at the house before the ceremony.
The couple spent their married lives living all over the western suburbs – first in Yarraville, then Spotswood, before moving to Werribee in 2001 and, most recently, Tarneit.
The Gullivers have four children, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Today, the couple prefer to go on cruises, but still make time to watch their beloved Western Bulldogs in action.
For their 60th wedding anniversary, Mr Gulliver surprised his wife with a diamond necklace.
“I love her more now than I did before, a different kind of love,” Mr Gulliver said.
Mrs Gulliver added: “It was meant to be.”