It took a blind date for Kier Tipping to see a future with Pat Yeo.
The tall and talented footballer had held a torch for the pretty and smart blonde after meeting her at a Dubbo CYMS Football Club ball in the late 1960s.
The blind date, organised by one of Pat's friends, brought the 21-year-olds together for a second chance at love.
Decades later the retirees can't remember where they went on the date but know the conversation in the car after it sealed their union.
A then-shy Pat had laid his cards on the table. "I told her I was always keen on her even when we had not been together," he said.
The couple married at the old St Brigid's Catholic Church on May 31,1969, after building a house out the back of a property owned by Kier's grandmother in Hopetoun Street and deciding to have a big family.
"We always planned to have six and then we got a surprise," Kier said.
After the arrival of five children, the couple built a new and bigger home in Alder Place.
"We built this home so we could have another child which was Gerard," Kier said.
Three-and-a-half years later twins arrived to the surprise and delight of the entire family.
"The older kids were wonderful with them," Kier said. "No one got more attention than the twins."
Family including 18 grandchildren formed Pat and Kier's cheer squad on their 50th wedding anniversary on Friday.
They will travel to Dubbo for a celebratory dinner later this month.
Missing will be Gerard, a 2002 Bali bombing victim.
The mention of his name still makes his mother cry.
"When Gerard died we used to hear about lots of marriages breaking down, but that never entered my mind with Kier," Pat said.
"I think were were stronger together. We had a faith and that helped us through it."
Pat and Kier feel "blessed to have such a big family".
They often travel away to see their grandchildren play sport including Isaah Yeo who is a member of the Penrith Panthers.
"We enjoy the grandkids," Pat said. "We're hardly ever home."
When in Dubbo the couple give back to the community as enthusiastic volunteers.
"We both have a strong faith and that's why we work with St Vincent de Paul," Pat said.
"We see that it is up to us to help the poor and underprivileged."
Pat, who is battling serious illness, can identify the glue in his and Kier's long marriage.
"I honestly believe it's about truly caring for the other person," he said.
"Your children keep you together too I reckon."
Kier, who still has her elegant wedding dress, says the conversation in the car more than 50 years ago was the first of many.
"We chat all the time," she said. "Now I'm the shy one and Pat never stops talking."