Celebrating 75 years of marriage

JACK Johnston pulls a face and fusses with his pose as the photographer places him for a picture with his wife.

“Don’t try to be funny,” quips Jean Johnston, putting her larrikin husband back in his place.

The easy banter between the pair is the hallmark of their long marriage and today, Jack and Jean celebrate 75 years as husband and wife.

Jean, 97, said she met Jack, 98, when they were at St Arnaud High School in the 1930s.

She said the boys and girls would form lines down different sides of the school hall and, to get her attention, Jack would deliberately trip the boy in front of him.

“He was always showing  off,” she recalls.

Jack made no defence, instead relishing his obviously successful attempt at getting Jean’s attention all those years ago.

“I was pretty good with that right foot,” he said.

“It was just a matter of fun at that stage – it wasn’t anything serious.”

But soon afterwards, Jack decided to propose on one of their many horse rides through the countryside.

“She said yes – she didn’t hesitate,” he laughs. “It’s a wonder she didn’t ask what’s taking so long.”

They were married on this day in 1937 and Jack’s trade as a butcher kept him out of World War II.

And their secret to a long and happy marriage?

“You’ve just got to help each other,” Jack says.

“Give and take – that about covers it really.”

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