Russell Island sweethearts Frank and Laurine celebrate 70 years of marriage

IN LOVE: Frank and Laurine Mawson on their wedding day in 1949.

IN LOVE: Frank and Laurine Mawson on their wedding day in 1949.

LAURINE Lewin had only been in Australia for two days when she met the love of her life.

The young woman had emigrated from New Zealand and was at a dance in Melbourne on January 15, 1949 when she met a handsome stranger - Frank Mawson from Western Australia.

Less than 11 months later on December 3, the pair were married at Saint John's Church in East Melbourne.

Their first child was born on November 1, 1950.

Mr Mawson was in the army so the couple moved around the country over the next decades with their growing family.

After he retired in the 1970s, the couple took a ferry to the Southern Moreton Bay Islands to inspect a boat and fell in love with the peace and quiet.

They bought a house on Lamb Island before the islands had town water or electricity, and lived there happily for three decades.

They spent time running the island's kiosk and selling real estate before moving to Russell Island, where they now live.

Their marriage has been anything but boring, with the pair having visited India, Turkey, Europe, Britain, Japan, and North and South America in the past few years.

Last year they celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary with friends in Louisville, Kentucky.

Mrs Mawson said the secret to a long and successful marriage was having a large family and being kept busy.

70 YEARS: Frank and Laurine Mawson celebrated their anniversary surrounded by family.

70 YEARS: Frank and Laurine Mawson celebrated their anniversary surrounded by family.

This year they opted to celebrate at home with their eight children - Matt, Timothy, Frank, Katherine, Elisabeth, Damian, Naomi and Jeremy. They have 10 grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Family and friends said the pair had a lot of affection for each other and were inseparable companions.

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