Aussie couple, 102 and 99, share their secrets to a happy marriage as they celebrate incredible 80th wedding anniversary – with a little help from Scott Morrison
- Helena and Ernest Reed celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary on Saturday
- Now 99 and 102, they met when they were 19 and 22 at Kokotunga, Queensland
- The couple still live together at a retirement home at Clear Island Waters
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison sent the Reeds a message of congratulations
An Australian couple aged 102 and 99 have earned a surprise congratulations from Prime Minister Scott Morrison as they celebrate their 80th wedding anniversary.
Helena and Ernest Reed met in 1941 and on Saturday they celebrated the incredible milestone with 25 family and friends on Queensland’s Gold Coast.
They still live together, at Cypress Gardens Retirement Village at Clear Island Waters, Queensland.
Helena and Ernest Reed celebrated a remarkable 80 years of marriage on Saturday. Helena says ‘fresh air, clean living’ and being able to ‘give and take’ in order to get over disagreements are the keys to their incredible staying power
‘I love him as much as I ever did’, Helena Reed said of her husband of 80 years, Ernest. They are pictured together above in 1941 at their wedding
The couple met in the tiny farming community of Kokotungo, Central Queensland and married in the local hall when Helena was 19 and Ernest was 22.
They lived across the river from each other, both children of farming families.
In a surprise video message recorded for the anniversary, Morrison said their milestone is incredibly rare.
‘Eighty years, wow that’s remarkable,’ Morrison said in the message.
‘In all our history our country has only witnessed a handful of 80th wedding anniversaries.
‘You are an inspiration to the country. What you have achieved in your relationship is an example to all of us.’
Helena, 99, told Daily Mail Australia the secret to staying together so long was ‘give and take’, lots of ‘fresh air’ – and a fair bit of hard work too.
The couple have worked together all their married lives, including on two dairy farms, a pineapple farm near Yepoon, a building business and in a corner shop at Rockhampton.
‘We got plenty of fresh air and we were clean-living people. We didn’t drink or smoke,’ she explained.
Scott Morrison sent a surprise video message to Helena and Ernest Reed, congratulating them on their 80th wedding anniversary in which he said they were ‘an inspiration’ to all Australians
They travelled around Australia together and to Canada and the United States.
Helena said she couldn’t remember the last time they’d had a fight or even a disagreement – but she admitted they had to get through arguments, like anyone.
‘People have got to give and take if they want to stay together, they’ve got to work things out,’ Helena said.
‘We never had those bad fights. We still love each other as much as we ever did.
‘I didn’t think we’d ever get this far, we’ve had a really good life together. He’s just a really nice man.’
‘They tell me he’s handsome too, though I suppose he’s always been handsome in my eyes.’
The couple have two daughters, four grandchldren and eight great-grandchildren.
Granddaughter Jo Gordon said she applied to the Prime Minister’s office for a letter of congratulations to acknowledge the anniversary, but ‘the next thing we knew they were on the phone’.
She said Helena and Ernest were delighted to receive a message from Morrison.
‘Grandma said she was really touched with the personal message from the Prime Minister and couldn’t believe it when she heard the kind words.’