Thornlands couple Clifford and Shirlie Canhan renew their wedding vows after 66 years of marriage

THORNLANDS couple Clifford and Shirlie Canhan have celebrated their 66-year relationship with a vow renewal during Valentine's Day festivities.

The couple, who married in Sydney after meeting as teenagers, say their love for each other has never waivered.

Their secret to long lasting love, and advice for others, is to keep peace and harmony in the relationship.

TRUE LOVE: Clifford and Shirlie Canhan renewed their vows during Valentine's Day festivities. Photo: supplied

TRUE LOVE: Clifford and Shirlie Canhan renewed their vows during Valentine's Day festivities. Photo: supplied

"Just don't have arguments, have discussions," Ms Canhan said. "We've had no problems, but then we've never had fights.

"If we disagree, we disagree and might discuss it a bit, and that's it."

The renewal ceremony - held at Moreton Shores aged care village - was 66 years in the making, with the couple meeting as children while attending the same church.

"I was actually going with another girl from our church, just a friendly association," Mr Canhan said.

"I used to walk her home from gymnastics and one of my mates used to walk along with me.

"One night, he asked if I would mind not bringing her home because he wanted to court her.

"I said that was okay, because I was waiting for Shirlie to be old enough so I could start courting her.

"So, he married Marley and I married Shirlie."

The relationship had been going for about three years before Mr Canhan popped the question.

"I proposed to Shirlie for a start, and then I had to go and ask her parents," Mr Canhan said.

"One night I was down at her house and her father was wandering outside, and he went to the outhouse.

"So I stood outside and asked, 'would it be okay if Shirlie and I became engaged?'

SPARKS FLY: There is still plenty of love between Clifford and Shirlie Canhan. Photo: supplied

SPARKS FLY: There is still plenty of love between Clifford and Shirlie Canhan. Photo: supplied

"He said I'd better wait until he came out of there and then we could go inside and ask his wife!"

They married a year later and went on to have two daughters together.

The pair were thrilled to renew their vows in a special ceremony arranged by Bolton Clarke residential manager Sam Bolanghe and diversional therapist Lauren Murphy.

"It was very nice of them to put it on for us and we really appreciate it," Mr Canhan said.

"When it was suggested we thought it was going to be a couple of people around us, but then it turned into something much more ...

"Lauren has done a great job sorting everything out and arranging others to help and come and celebrate with us."

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