Mornington couple Erin and Fay Alexander will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary next week.
“There won’t be much happening on 2 September, though,” Mr Alexander said, tongue-in-cheek, referring to restrictions imposed by the extended COVID-19 lockdowns.
“We had planned 80th birthday celebrations in October last year but they were scrubbed; hopefully we will be all right this time.”
The Alexanders, who have lived around Mornington since 1974, met and married in Sydney in 1961. Erin was from the Latrobe Valley and Fay from Tamworth, NSW.
“Dad was a Navy man and loved it and he encouraged me to join and I did,” said Mr Alexander who went on to serve 21 years.
He described Fay as a “very special person” able to cope with his extended absences overseas. “I was away a lot, sometimes for 10 months at a time, serving in Vietnam, Malaysia and Borneo,” he said.
He especially enjoyed his time at HMAS Cerberus, at Crib Point where he attained the rank of chief petty officer and was the last butcher in the Navy, recently appearing in the Navy News.
“We used to be a big happy family there,” he said. “Now everything is contracted out, even the cooking.”
Ms Alexander (nee Whitten) was a barmaid at the Tanti Hotel in the late 1970sand early 1980s.
The couple paid $18,000 for what they considered the “dearest house in Mornington” in the early 1970s, despite being told they were “too young and would never be able to pay it off … We did well in selling our Sydney house and managed to,” Mr Alexander said, adding that it was the first of several houses they have owned in the district. They also agisted racehorses at Moorooduc.
Mr Alexander was president of the Mornington Pigeon Club for several years and they are both active members of Mount Martha Seniors.
Next week’s anniversary celebration will, by necessity, be a family affair. “If lockdown lifts we will more than likely do a family dinner out for mum and dad,” daughter Michelle said.
Attending will be son Darren Alexander and his wife Wendy, and Michelle and her husband Bruce Stewart and grandchildren. “It’s quite difficult to plan a big event as we have had to cancel so many events recently,” Michelle said.