'Perseverance' is the key to a long and happy marriage

A TEAM: Ray and Barbara Long
A TEAM: Ray and Barbara Long Julia Bartrim

FIFTY-nine years ago, Barbara Liebke and Raymond Long met at a friend's barbecue and they have been together ever since.

Next Friday, they will celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary.

They married in Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Toowoomba In 1962..

"I had an imported satin wedding dress, I borrowed it (from a friend) it was really nice, very plain, but very nice," Barbara said.

Their parents weren't happy with the match because Barbara was a Catholic and Raymond was Church of England.

But as far as Barbara was concerned they would just have to accept it.

She wasn't going to change her mind.

Raymond proposed to Barbara several months before they married.

"We were just walking down the street one day from work, and he said 'how about we get married,' very romantic.

"I said 'yep'," Barbara said.

Since that time they've relocated from Toowoomba to Gladstone, had four children, and then welcomed four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

"When I had my fourth child, Ray's mother said, that's what you get for marrying a Catholic," Barbara said with a chuckle.

Now that they are retired, the couple have become passionate about cruises, but their trips are dependent on Barbara's health.

"Ray's my carer, he does a wonderful job, I wouldn't be able to survive without him," said Barbara, who has been unwell for several years.

"He's always there for everybody, he's just a marvellous person, although he pisses me off sometimes," she said with a laugh.

Many of us would not handle a marriage of 55 years as well as the Longs have.

So what is their secret?

"Perseverance," said Barbara.

"Don't just walk out at the first sight of trouble."

Topics:  anniversary celebration gladstone marriage

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