'A BIT of give and take' is the secret to a long and happy marriage, according to one Redlands couple who are half a century and a world away from where they tied the knot.
Ormiston residents Alan and Carol Jones will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on November 22. They were married at St John's Church at Coleford in Gloucestershire, England, in 1969.
They began married life the week after the first colour television broadcasts were made in the UK. The first episode of Sesame Street aired in the United States that month, and the Vietnam War dominated the headlines. Beatle John Lennon was about to hand his Member of the British Empire award back to the Queen in protest of the UK's support of Vietnam.
Their family homes were within four miles of each other, but the couple met when Alan gave Carol and her sister a lift home from the youth club one night.
"My best mate at the time, Bobby Williams, knew them, so we stopped to give them a lift a couple of times," Alan said.
"One thing led to another."
For one of them, it was love at first sight, but Carol said that initially, she wasn't keen on the young design engineer who was interested in her.
They say that good things come to those who wait, and it was the same for Alan in his pursuit of Carol, who was a hairdresser.
"He had to work for it," Carol said.
The couple came to Australia in 1989. The move Down Under was going to be temporary, but that idea soon changed when the Joneses fell in love with the lifestyle.
They soon secured citizenship, along with children Simon, Emma and Lucy, who were 12, nine and six at the time.
Thirty years later, Brisbane called. Carol and Alan came to initially to see Simon, who was living here with wife Dee. They loved the laid-back lifestyle of Queensland.
Lucy and husband Tim followed her parents to Ormiston. Emma lives on the NSW Central Coast with husband Craig.
The couple have seven grandchildren: Tasha (15), Sebastian (13), Kiesha (10), Riya (8), Oliver (6), Ernie (6) and Tom (5).
It has been a big year for the family. Carol and Alan turn 70 this year. Alan's birthday was on January 28, and Carol's is on December 17.
Carol and Alan are not planning on a big party, as they have been to Fiji as a family to celebrate 30 years of being in Australia, along with Emma's 40th birthday.
"We'll have a quiet celebration," Alan said.
They still return to the UK regularly, but a permanent move back won't happen.
"We have been back to the UK every two years, as a family, to see family," Alan said.
"But there's no way we will move back. It's such a great lifestyle here."
The couple's children paid tribute to their parents for their half century as husband and wife.
"We are a very close family and we are incredibly proud of our parents for reaching such significant milestones in their lives," Lucy said.
"Mum and Dad are still very much in love. They have always had such a solid connection based on friendship, respect, fun and shared passions.
"They still go out on dates together, hold hands, and enjoy each other's company. They also know how to make each other laugh, have fun and not take things too seriously."
Emma said: "Congratulations Mum and Dad. I am so proud of the life you've lived and all that you've achieved."
Simon said: "Your successes in life are such an inspiration to your family. May you both celebrate many more happy years together, and we look forward to celebrating them all with you."