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Bunbury couple celebrate 65 years of wedded bliss

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Lilian and Jim Slatter celebrate 65 years of marriage.
Camera IconLilian and Jim Slatter celebrate 65 years of marriage. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

Bunbury couple Jim and Lilian Slatter admit their story did not start as love at first sight, but 65 years on it is clear the love they share has thrived.

The duo celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on March 8 and say conquering the usual challenge of speaking to all their grandchildren – scattered between Sydney and the UK – in one day was a highlight.

More than six decades of wedded bliss has resulted in two children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren between the 86-year-olds so far.

The pair met by chance while they both lived in London.

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“We met at a birthday party I tried to get out of,” Mr Slatter said.

Lilian and Jim Slatter celebrate 65 years of marriage with a kiss.
Camera IconLilian and Jim Slatter celebrate 65 years of marriage with a kiss. Credit: Jon Gellweiler / South Western Times

“It was a friend’s across the road from me and I was on my way back from a Charlton football game and he was swinging on his front gate, beckoning me to go over.

“That was the beginning of it all.”

Responding to whether it was love at first sight, Mrs Slatter laughs and says “no”.

“He told me a fib that he was going to teach me to swim,” Mrs Slatter said.

“He still doesn’t know how to swim today.”

Mr Slatter is quick to respond laughing as he says, “I used to bank on them saying ‘I already know how to swim’.”

Both say the secret to 65 years of marriage is having no secrets and liking the same things.

And while the pair admit life has thrown them some “rotten luck”, both said they had also been very lucky in making good friends and with the birth of their children and grandchildren.

The duo will officially celebrate with their family at a “fancy pants” dinner at the Duxton Hotel Perth soon.

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