Diamond anniversary for Ray and Loraine

By Holly Tregenza

MUCH-loved Kyabram couple Ray and Loraine Harrison will celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary on Thursday.

It's been 60 years since Loraine walked down the aisle on October 10, 1959 - and 59 years since they moved to Kyabram.

But it was 10 years before that that the pair met while twirling around the dance floor in the old mill hall in Mildura.

“We danced together,” remembered Ray.

“Back in the good old days, that's how people would find each other.”

Ray moved to Melbourne for work in the early '50s, and Loraine followed soon after, with the pair getting married a few years later.

And while the city had its perks, their hearts always belonged to the country.

So when Ray got offered the chance to run a motor mechanic workshop in a place called Kyabram, they quickly packed their bags and moved to town.

Little did they know it's where they'd bring up their family, make lifelong friends and ultimately, call home.

Loraine worked at supermarkets in town while Ray ran his workshop, and before long they had two kids, Pam and Trevor.

“In those early years a lot of time was taken up by the children's sport and activities and we always enjoyed being a part of that,” Loraine said.

“One of the most important things you can do is be involved with your family.”

“We never went anywhere without the children, they were part of everything we were part of,” Ray said.

And there is quite a list of things these two daredevils have been up to throughout the past 60 years.

That includes a time when they made and raced motorised go-karts.

“We only stopped because the kids couldn't stand the sound,” Ray laughed.

The love for motors extended further than just go carts; Ray's orange 1970 Ford Capri has been a common sight around Kyabram for the last 40 years, and he and Loraine are long time members of the Shepparton Car Club.

“We really can't hide from anyone in the orange Capri,” Ray said.

The pair's soft spot for adventure did get them into trouble once or twice.

“I nearly lost Loraine in New Zealand once,” Ray said.

“We flew up Mount Cook on a little aeroplane, and when we landed on top Loraine jumped right out - and into the snow.

“It went all the way up to her neck - I could hardly see her!

“We had to get her pulled out,” he laughed.

In Loraine's defence, she did say the aeroplane ride was not necessarily her idea.

“I was terrified on that little plane, I just could not wait to get out, so I jumped,” she said.

Ray also holds rank as one of the longest serving members of the Kyabram Bowls Club committee with 37 years under his belt.

“I really recommend sport involvement to everyone,” Ray said.

“Kyabram is such a nice, friendly place. When we first got here everyone would stop and say hello to you and have a chat, and although some of those friends have died now, we still have that wonderful sense of community.”

The 86 and 84-year-old Harrison's now boast six grand children and six great-grandchildren.

They said the secret to a long lasting love is pretty simple - put family first.

“Be there for one another,” Loraine said.

“You can get so much enjoyment out of your kids and your family.

“Look after each other and you will be very happy.”