LIFETIME LOVE

THE SECRET to a happy marriage, according to Dorothy and Claude Ridge, is "trust, understanding, a sense of humour and when a difference of opinion occurs- a still tongue holds a wise head."

Celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary (60th), the couple were thrilled to receive mail congratulating them on their special day.

These included a letter and photo from the Queen, Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia Ms Quentin Bryce, Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott, federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton and Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard.

Mrs Ridge said they could not believe their eyes when the mail arrived with letters from so many dignitaries.

"I couldn't get over it, we were wondering what was so special about us," Mrs Ridge said, smiling.

The couple said they later discovered their daughter Veronica had probably "got the ball rolling" as far as informing various offices about her parents anniversary.

The couple met at a barn dance in Dubbo when Mrs Ridge was only 21 years old.

"Claude booked a dance with me and after it was finished he offered to drive my friend and I home in his Morris Minor which he did," she said

"He just sort of hung around after that, and tormented me until I married him."

The couple spent their married life working with dairy cattle in Gunnedah and then back in Dubbo, eventually settling outside of Wongarbon with their two children Terry and Veronica.

When asked what advice they would pass on to newlyweds, Mrs Ridge said a number of factors came in to play.

"You have to be in love, you've got to be compatible, learn how to cook and jump when you're told!"

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