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Clean mountain air ensures love stays strong

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Kim Kardashian once managed 72 days of marriage but Blue Mountains couple, Bernice and John, have just celebrated 72 years of married bliss.

Bernice and John, who live together at Bodington Aged Care Home in Wentworth Falls, met and fell in love in 1945 before tying the knot in August 1947.

Bernice, who is now 90, moved to Katoomba with her family when she was four years old. Bernice went to Katoomba primary and high schools and started working in the manchester department of a local store.

John, aged 91 years, grew up in the Sydney suburbs of Maroubra and Kogarah, moving to Katoomba when he was 16 years old. John became an apprentice plumber and went to the store where Bernice worked to visit a friend. John was introduced to Bernice and he said “pleased to meet you Bern old girl”.

Their first date was to the local youth club in November 1945. John was supposed to pick Bernice up at 7pm but was late home from work. When he arrived at Bernice’s house she was not happy.

“My Mum persuaded me to go with him,” says Bernice.

“We sat across the table from each other and he kept winking at me. I thought he had something in his eye! I knew then that was it.”

“A flat became available and as soon as I was on a full wage of 7 pounds 30 shillings Bernice’s mother suggested we get married,” says John. “We settled in Katoomba where we have remained ever since. We bought our first house in 1952 for 2,000 pounds.”

Bernice and John went on to have five sons and now have 12 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and one great great-grandson.

“Looking back, raising a family together has been the best part of our marriage,” says Bernice.

Their secret?

“Staying in love, loving the Lord,” says Bernice.

“It’s all about giving 100% of yourself,” says John. “If she was right I was still happy. I didn’t have to be right all the time!

"We are both still in love, although Autumn's coming on."