To long time Maitland identities Ray and Ada Fairweather, marriage is a sacred pact and children are the glue that holds that union together.
Mr and Mrs Fairweather recalled the heady days of their fledgling romance recently when marking 65 years of wedded bliss.
Their blue sapphire milestone was celebrated this month - unfortunately without family and friends because of COVID protocols.
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A former Maitland councillor and mayor, Mr Fairweather recalled how he met his wife to be at a Paterson dance.
"I asked her up for a dance," he said.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Two years later, they were married at St Anne's Anglican Church, Gresford.
According to Mr Fairweather, it's difficult for him to give advice to couples who are about to tie the knot as times have changed so much.
"I think it's just a natural thing to be honest.
"Marriage was a pretty sacred thing in the old days and I'm a bit hard to speak for the young people today... I don't know whether they place as much importance on married life today," he said.
He explained that in the past it was common for one family member to stay home and look after the children, whereas now it is more common for both parents to be working and children to go to day care.
"Today there's more independence on both sides of the family, there were no preschools around in our day so the wife liked to be there when the kids came home from school and that kind of thing."
Mr and Mrs Fairweather have raised four children in Maitland - Stephen, Christine, Tony and Karen, and are now kept busy with nine grandchildren and eight great grandchildren, who are all a delight to have around the house according to Mr Fairweather.
Despite being in lockdown, the couple marked their special day on September 15 with some great food from local businesses.
"The family made some telephone orders and we enjoyed some very good meals on that day," Mr Fairweather said.
"It was a disappointment we had to celebrate by ourselves, but we opened a bottle of champagne and the family sent over a very large platter of seafood.
"We had our celebration on our own and the family sent flowers, but unfortunately they couldn't come."
Mr Fairweather said his family are proud Maitland locals who have remained in the area.
"All four children raised their own families within 10 minutes of us and the grandchildren have done likewise," he said.
When asked about the secret to a long and happy marriage, Mr Fairweather said family is the key.
"I think having children contributes a lot to a family, they are the glue.
"We've been fortunate that our children lived within 10 minutes from us, we have grandchildren who were frequent visitors to our place and us to theirs."
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