Old Love

Reporter: Andrea Burns

It's the biggest promise you'll ever make. Two words that turn your best friend into your family…

I do.

In the movies, it happens all the time. In real life living 'happily ever after' doesn't always work out, but it did for these couples. They've been together for decades.

Romona and Jack have been married 60 years. Jack and Winsome, 65 years and Beth and Fred married almost 70 years. He's 100, she's 99.

Around fifty thousand Australian marriages end in divorce each year, but these couples are bucking that trend.

Now in their 80's, Jack and Romona Cunningham met in primary school. Romance blossomed a few years later.

Dances were their main entertainment. Marriage seemed inevitable.

"I think she might have tricked me into it" laughs Jack.

They're still very together 60 years on, family's everything.

"Respect, love, you've got too. It's important to know what the other one's thinking and what he would like. You're both individuals and you both have your own sense of opinion and you have to give and take a little bit".

Fate also had a hand in the marriage of Winsome and Jack Bunney 65 years ago. A Christmas job in a department store when she was 14 introduced Winsome to the man of her life.

"We used to look forward to the girls coming in to see what we could get" And you got winsome? "Yes. To be quite honest, we called it the meat market" says Jack.

Jack's a straight talking ex-soldier. They courted for years, most of which he was away.

Winsome says "I just wrote a page every day and when it had 7 in it, I sent it off to the war".

They married, had only a few weeks together, then he was off serving again. On duty in Indonesia this photo of Winsome prompted a tempting offer.

"I was offered two cows for her" Only 2? "We're going back to 1945 values when cows were a valuable commodity. They were because all you get for a woman there was 2 chooks or a pig". Do you feel flattered? "Not at all".

Their 60th anniversary was marked with letters from the then Prime Minister, the Governor General, even the Queen, but it's their family and friends they cherish the most and each other.

"We just sort of amalgamate. I don't know what you would call it, we just accept each other, everything".

Beth and Fred James' tale is a long time love story married close on 70 years. Travelling extensively, they've always had shared interests.

"We like to play bridge together. We used to play golf together and go to the theatres and we were very keen on movies, pictures as we called them in our day".

This week the party came to them as Fred turned 100 and it didn't end there.

In the race of life, Fred and Beth are stayers and say the recipe's simple.

"We do not go to bed angry".

Respect. Manners. Kindness. Old fashioned values all of these couples believe hold the key to a long and happy marriage. Together a combined 200 years, they should know.