Marie Brown always wanted to be part of a big family.
The only child of an only child, Mrs Brown and her husband Bernard now have 49 direct descendants – and one more on the way.
Mr and Mrs Brown were joined by many of these relatives and close friends to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on October 8.
They were married at the Methodist Church in Kurri Kurri – the bride aged 19 and the groom, 20.
They met five years earlier, and were engaged after three years.
“It was a much simpler, happy world, fun times with inexpensive pleasures,” Mrs Brown recalled.
“You walked everywhere or pushed a bike Saturday afternoons learning to dance at Pelaw Main Hall then home for tea and off to the pictures at Kings Theatre, Kurri Kurri, all dressed up in our best finery.
“We would have walked at least four miles that day and thought nothing of it.
“Life wasn’t always easy though, we both have our own opinions and still have our say on all sorts of topics.”
Mr Brown is now his wife’s carer.
They have lived in their Wallsend Street home for 62 years, four doors up from the house where Mr Brown was born.
“A house is just a house but this is a real family home,” Mr Brown said.
“Lots of love, kisses and cuddles and that’s really what our life has been all about.”
Mr and Mrs Brown now revel in the family closeness of their four sons Roy, James, Ian and Gavin.
They have 15 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren (and another due at Christmas) and three great-great-grandchildren.
James and his wife Susan hosted the 70th anniversary party at their home.
“It was such a wonderful day,” Mrs Brown said.
“Everything turned out the way I wanted it to.”
Mr and Mrs Brown received letters from the Queen, the Governor-General, Prime Minister, federal and state members of parliament and the mayor of Cessnock to congratulate them on their special milestone.
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