MILESTONE: Lenore and Allan Philp, from Ballina, will on Monday celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary. This is a recent photo taken at a Christmas gathering.
MILESTONE: Lenore and Allan Philp, from Ballina, will on Monday celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary. This is a recent photo taken at a Christmas gathering. Contributed

A love story spanning 70 years in Ballina

THE Beatles once asked "if you would need me, when I'm 64".

The song lyric referred to age but Ballina couple Allan and Lenore Philp have gone six years better in their relationship.

The pair will on Monday celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary at their Ballina home.

Currently they live separately due to care needs, so it wasn't possible to get them together to ask about their long marriage, but they will be reunited when they celebrate the milestone.

Allan and Lenore met at one of the regular dances at the Ballina Waterfront, which once was located at Shaws Bay, when they were aged 23 and 20.

Lenore's family were having a break in Ballina from their Eureka home at the time, while Allan was a local boy.

At the time, Allan was a wood machinist working at Bagott's Mill and Lenore was a secretary to a tax agent in Lismore.

Allan had spent three years in what was then called New Guinea during World War II.

Their courtship continued after Lenore's family returned to the family's farm at Eureka.

Allan popped the question and the couple married onJune 11, 1949, at the Lismore Methodist Church and their afternoon tea reception was held in the church hall.

In the early days Allan worked on the sand mines when they operated on the beaches north of Ballina, then as a cabinetmaker for Carl Small's company in Lismore.

After a time as wood machinist for Pickups Timber Supplies in Ballina, he went on to work at Ballina Slipway and Engineering Works and eventually retired from there as a ship's carpenter and shipwright. Lenore worked sometimes for her sister-in-law at Lorna's Fashion Centre in Ballina, raised her family and supported various family members in many ways as they aged.

Allan and Lenore were involved in their community and, until quite recently, Lenore sang in church and community choirs.

Over the years, Allan played squash, snooker and billiards.

Both Allan and Lenore were playing members of Ballina Golf Club for many years from its establishment.

Allan and Lenore have lived in Ballina all their married life, apart from a short time in the very early days when Allan farmed pigs at the Eureka farm.

They had three children - Leanne, Debra and Elizabeth - eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Allan is now 96 and Lenore 93.

Allan and Lenore will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary at their home in Ballina on Monday, June 1, between 11am-3pm, and friends, relatives and well-wishers are invited to join the celebrations.

All inquiries should be directed to Leanne on 0407570 517.


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