ANN and John Gartshore are looking back on a marriage that almost never was in the lead-up to their 60th wedding anniversary on Thursday, October 31.
The Victoria Point couple first laid eyes on each other at the Ekka in 1956 where Mr Gartshore was working for Surf Life Saving Queensland.
Mrs Gartshore, who was visiting the show with a friend, made a beeline for her future husband and snapped up the tickets he was selling by the dozen so she had an excuse to talk to him.
Sparks flew straight away but the pair drifted apart over the following months.
They were brought back together by fate while on their way to work one morning but it was not until a third chance meeting at a national service family day that the pair started a relationship.
"I visited Wacol to see my brother who was in the national service with John, though I did not know it at the time," she said.
"I was fetching a tea kettle when he came over and took it off my hands and we both said 'don't I know you from somewhere'.
"Because he was in the National Service we started writing letters to each other.
"Finally he came out to Wacol and we kept seeing each other from there."
The couple got engaged in 1956 and quickly put plans in place for their first property.
They got married in 1959 and moved to Mount Gravatt in 1961, giving birth to their first daughter shortly after. Two more girls followed in 1963 and 1967. They were raised and schooled in Mount Gravatt.
When daughters Jo, Carol and Gail left home the couple moved to Victoria Point and have lived peacefully in the Redlands for the last 27 years.
Mrs Gartshore said their love of sport was the secret to their long lasting relationship.
"John played rugby league for Souths and I played tennis," she said.
"We started playing lawn bowls together later in life and we're both members of the Redlands Bayside Masters Swimming Club."
Mrs Gartshore still teaches swimming, a passion she has passed onto her youngest daughter Gail, who is an instructor at Cleveland.
Mr Gartshore enjoyed a storied rugby league career at his beloved Souths where he played a few A grade matches alongside representative forward Henry Holloway.
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