Don and May Venn celebrate 70 years of marriage at 90 years.

70: Don and May Venn of Redland Bay celebrate 70 years of marriage.
70: Don and May Venn of Redland Bay celebrate 70 years of marriage.

Don and May Venn of Redland Bay, aged 90,  celebrate their 70th (platinum) wedding anniversary on June 12.

VENNS: Don and May Venn began their engagement with a ring made from a sixpence in 1944.

VENNS: Don and May Venn began their engagement with a ring made from a sixpence in 1944.

The couple may have been married for 70 years, but they have known each other a lifetime, as childhood sweethearts from families who were long time friends.

The couple’s betrothal started with a ring made out of a sixpence, given by Mr Venn to Mrs Venn on April 4, 1944.

“We’ve been going out together since we were 16. It’s a long time, but we’ve had a wonderful life. We share he same interests and that means a lot,” Mrs Venn said.

“He said to me the other day that he still loved me, but he just hadn’t worked out why yet. I think having a big family and keeping busy has been our secret. We’ve also had lots of laughs.”

They were married in 1948, and built their first home at Wynnum North, leaving it to farm at Peachester and Cecil Plains.  In December 1955 they bought a house in Dart Street, Redland Bay, where they still live. There, they raised their seven children.

Mr Venn was a builder by trade and still enjoys making things out of timber. Don said he also enjoyed fishing, having spent most of his childhood holidays on Moreton Bay in his father’s homemade boat. In recent years, he has taken an interest in bee keeping and, with the help of his son Daniel, keeps the family in honey.

The Venns have been active members of the Christadelphian community all their lives and, after Don retired, they had many trips to India on mission work.

Mr Venn was born at Morningside in 1928, lived in the Wynnum area and attended Wynnum High School.

Mrs Venn (nee Ethel May Slaughter) was born in Gympie in 1927. Her great grandparents were pioneers of the Mary Valley. As a child, she lived in the Pomona and Yandina areas, before her parents moved to a dairy farm at Harlin on the Brisbane River.

Known by the family as ‘Ma and Pa’, they have 22 grandchildren and 33 great grandchildren, most still living in the Redlands.

The anniversary will be celebrated with family and friends.

“We’ll just probably have fish and chips. Don cooks the best fish ever. He always has. He would like to catch it. He used to,” Mrs Venn said.