MAX McNally can’t quite remember his first impression of wife Beryl, who he met on Nobbys Beach soon after World War II ended.
After all, it was more than seven decades ago.
“But it must have been a good one – I know I fell in love with her straight away,” Mr McNally, 92, said.
“We hit it off right from the start – she was someone I could talk to.
“We just seemed to click and always got on so well together. We enjoy each other’s company.”
The McNallys will mark 70 years of marriage today at Scratchleys and will celebrate with many members of their family, which includes two sons, six grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren, at lunch on December 9.
“It doesn’t really feel like that long,” Mrs McNally, 91, said.
“We’ve had a good life together, travelled around the world, took a caravan around Australia and went boating for many years.
“We’ve tagged and released 11 marlin.”
Mr McNally was a member of social club Adamstown Younger Set, which held dances and “beach teas”.
Another club member, Joyce, worked with Mrs McNally at a grocer and hardware shop at Mayfield.
“Joyce told me I had to come along and meet these two brothers,” she said.
“One had a car and one had a motorbike.”
The pair saw each other at dances at the Palais Royale and had their first date at the Victoria Theatre.
“One day we just said ‘We’ll get engaged’, although we weren’t allowed until I was 21 – my father was very strict,” Mrs McNally said.
“I was actually very fortunate,” Mr McNally said.
“I got on very well with both her mother and father, I was their pet.”
They married on December 4, 1948, at St Andrew’s in Mayfield.
“She was very active – a representative hockey player, golf club single figure champion and a great social tennis player,” he said.
Mrs McNally said he was “very attractive looking”. “We were just attracted to each other.”
The couple said the secret to their marriage was doing everything together.
“We’re not one to go off by ourselves, we rather go out together,” Mrs McNally said.
“We’re good friends.”
Mr McNally said “the decisions aren’t just made by one of us”.
Boilermaker Mr McNally set up Marlin Truck Bodies in 1965 and retired at 84.
They built and sold four homes, before spending the past 23 years between the Woolstore Apartments in Cooks Hill and their current home in the Civic Square Apartments, which has views over the city.
They paid £1479 to build their first house, in Aldyth Street New Lambton, which was finished the week of their wedding. “It was called Nappytown then because of all the young families.”
They stayed for 11 years, before building in Brisbane; Merewether Street at Merewether and Horizons at Salamander Bay.