Alec D’Souza has very little voice and is mostly deaf, and his wife Philomena is going blind – but they say they share their senses, just as they have done for the past six decades.
The Deer Park couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at the weekend, joining 80 friends and family members to commemorate their diamond celebration.
The couple met in 1952 in Madras (now Chennai), India, when Alec visited the port city while he was in the Indian navy.
Philomena said it was a chance meeting that brought them together.
“His ship came into the harbour in 1952, and I went to a dance because I was a good rock and roll dancer,” she said.
“We met there, and danced that night – it started from there. I used to live near the beach, near the dock, and Alec would come and visit me on his night’s off and we would go walking about, but not dating.
“He was there for a month and then he went away again. I think it was two years later when he came back again. He came to my house and the romance started from there.”
They were married on June 15, 1957, and after having four kids, they migrated to Australia in 1968, settling in St Albans.
They moved to Deer Park in 1971 and have been there ever since.
Along the way, they had a fifth child, and have since welcomed 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
What is there secret to 60 years of marriage?
“We always give and take,” Philomena said. “I’m a happy-go-lucky person, and so is Alec, so we don’t take offence and we always forgive and forget.
“Sixty years has felt like 60 days – it’s been lovely.”