A Perth couples unshakable love, surviving 60 years through compromise and selflessness.
A couple who have spent more than half of their married life as parishioners of Sacred Heart Church in Thornlie recently celebrated their Diamond Wedding.
In anyone’s language, 60 years of marriage is a wonderful achievement.
On 5 January 1952, Patrick Antonio and Veronica Joyce made their solemn wedding vows in the Church of the Holy Rosary, Nedlands.
The late Monsignor Edward Moss, then parish priest of Nedlands, offered Nuptial Mass for the couple.
The couple said about 100 relatives and friends came to the church, the ceremony taking place at 8.30 that morning.
Patrick is the elder son of Thomas and Rose (nee Scott) Antonio and Veronica is the elder daughter of William and Sheila (nee Collopy) Joyce. All parents have now passed to their eternal reward.
The couple have three children: Marie-Therese, Stephen and Benedict and also five grand-children.
Their family is now scattered, one living in Sydney, another in Adelaide and another in Miling in WA’s northern wheatbelt.
For about 25 years, Patrick and Veronica lived on a farm at Southern Brook, about 25km east of Northam.
But, following several disasters, including losing their home in the devastating 1968 Meckering earthquake, the couple decided to leave the farm and since then have lived in Thornlie.
This couple have always considered prayer – jointly and privately – of paramount importance and especially the rosary which they have recited together virtually every day of their marriage.
When they had young children the rosary was a family affair. Often, the family recited this prayer while travelling in their car.
Apart from prayer, the couple say that one of the essentials of a long and happy marriage is the ability to compromise.
That means the total elimination of selfishness.
Prior to their marriage, Patrick and Veronica attended what was then known as a Pre-Cana Conference at which couples intending to marry heard various lecturers, including priests, each outlining the difficulties married people may face and how to resolve them.
Patrick and Veronica believe the Pre-Cana Conference helped them considerably in providing a foundation for their journey through married life.