House debates

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Statements on Indulgence

Collings, Mrs Esther and Mr Ronald

2:05 pm

Photo of Rebekha SharkieRebekha Sharkie (Mayo, Centre Alliance) Share this | Hansard source

Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to speak on indulgence on this very special moment. Like every member here, I have the great pleasure in writing congratulatory letters for 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries, and last year couple Jack and Fay Miller from Victor Harbor celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. However, an 80th wedding anniversary is extremely special, and I'm looking forward to visiting Ron and Esther Collings from Goolwa tomorrow. Prime Minister, I very much look forward to taking with me the best wishes of the parliament for that special milestone.

After meeting at the picture theatre, they married in 1938 at just 23 and 22 years of age respectively. The Depression was still being felt by many Australian communities. Esther was a dressmaker, and Ron a travelling salesman. Now Mr and Mrs Collings are Australia's oldest living married couple, and may I add that they are happily married. They've been blessed with three children, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

What always strikes me when I talk to couples who have been together for decades and weathered the storms of life together is: what is your secret to making such a successful relationship? I'm told it's compromise and communication. Mr Collings loves his footy—regrettably, he loves the Sydney Swans and not the Adelaide Crows—while Mrs Collings prefers yoga. Both have given each other the space and time to support each other's own pursuits. I think they're a good example for all of us here in the parliament, and I know all of Mayo is very proud of them. So I congratulate Ron and Esther Collings on reaching their 80th wedding anniversary, and I look forward to sharing in their wonderful celebration tomorrow.

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