28 Aug 2019

Happily married for 70 years, thanks to God

The Southern Cross  |  September 2019

Happily married for 70 years, thanks to God

They met at a Catholic dance in Broken Hill and he swept her off her feet. Now after being happily married for 70 years, John and Eleanor Raftery have some good old fashioned advice for the newlyweds of today.

“If they have faith in their life I would say to them, keep close to God because you’ll need Him. I can’t improve on what God would tell them, but after 70 years you realise why it is called a sacrament because it does need the grace of God helping you,” Eleanor, 91, told The Southern Cross.

“It’s also about being a bit tolerant and keeping love as the thing that helps you decide all big decisions.”

John, who will turn 94 on September 4, added that marriage was something that required ongoing attention and commitment.

“It’s not always smooth, but if you keep working at it you will get there. It means you have to work together,” he said.

When the Rafterys were married in Sacred Heart Cathedral in Broken Hill on September 7 1949 the world was a much different place. The aftermath of World War II was lingering, Ben Chifley was Australia’s Prime Minister and Pope Pius XII was the head of the Catholic Church.

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