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A diamond year for Annette and Des

Retirement Living Care Services Community Lifestyle Stories
  • Annette and Des Bradshaw celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in June 2021
  • From the moment Annette saw Des, she knew she was going to marry him
  • The couple had not been apart until Annette entered IRT Greenwell Gardens Aged Care Centre
31 March 2022
IRT Greenwell Gardens residents Annette and Des Bradshaw celebrated 60 years of marriage last year. Annette is wearing the headpiece she wore on her wedding day.
“We were on a church outing one night, and were sitting next to one another with a blanket and an old kerosene heater nearby. Annette grabbed my hand and held it and I thought ‘oh gees’!”
Des Bradshaw
IRT Greenwell Gardens resident

Not all love stories start by losing a bet, but a little wager was the beginning of something special for Annette and Des Bradshaw who celebrated 60 years of marriage in June 2021.

“I lost a bet with a friend and had to attend the Salvation Army Citadel,” says Annette. “While I was there, I saw Des in the band and I thought I’m going to marry that man, little did he know!”

Des remembers his and Annette’s first meeting just as fondly. “I spoke with my Mum one day and said I’ll never meet a nice girl,” says Des. “Mum said ‘try praying and God will help you,’ so I did and he sent me Annette. She was very good looking!”. “You have bad eyesight,” laughs Annette.

The Bradshaws were married on 24 June 1961 at the Salvation Army Citadel in Woonona, where they first met. The pair lived in areas in the Illawarra and Nowra before moving to IRT Greenwell Gardens. Des started out as a postie, then a coal miner, and then owned his own business selling doors and roller doors. Annette owned a seamstress business in North Nowra for 30 years, where she designed and did fittings for wedding and formal wear. Annette also supported single mothers who were either pregnant or had a child in foster care, and is still in contact with some of these mums and their children.

And what is their secret to a long and happy marriage? The pair attribute their 60 wonderful years together to their ability to give and take. “If we disagreed, nine out of ten times I would go Des’ way,” says Annette.

Annette and Des agree that they “even each other out” and their marriage is stronger for it. “Annette is good at things that I’m not and vice versa,” says Des. “He loves his vegie garden and I love my flower garden,” says Annette.

Annette and Des on their wedding day in June 1961.

The couple also strongly value the importance of family, and made sure their children, Jenny and Paul, spent quality time with their grandparents when they were younger, just as now Annette and Des are in regular contact with their two grandchildren.

While much has happened in their 60 years together, Des still clearly recalls the moment he know Annette would be in his future. “We were on a church outing one night, and were sitting next to one another with a blanket and an old kerosene heater nearby. Annette grabbed my hand and held it and I thought ‘oh gees’!”

From this moment on, Des and Annette saw each other every day and have not been apart, until Annette entered IRT Greenwell Gardens Aged Care Centre in October 2020. “Des visits me on a regular basis as he lives at the retirement village,” says Annette. “”We thank the staff at Greenwell Gardens for their support.”

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