Easter marks a special milestone for loved up couple

EASTER was extra special for Lucindale couple Gavin and Wendy Wilson this year.

The couple celebrated a significant milestone anniversary - 60 years of marriage.

After meeting through sport, both playing for Mundulla at the time, and regular Saturday night dances, their friendship quickly blossomed into a romance.

When Gavin moved away to Kimba the courtship continued through correspondence and the occasional phone call. They later wed with a large reception of 200 guests at Mundulla Hall in 1954.

Gavin's best men were his brother Rol and Wendy's brother Peter Watson while Wendy was attended by her sister Lorna and Gavin's sister Helen. 

They honeymooned for two weeks in Kangaroo Island and have remained side by side ever since.

Gavin was born at Clements Gap near Crystal Brook to Lillian and Walter Wilson on April 4, 1929, the third of five children. 

During the depression the family walked away from their farm to settle in Whyalla where there were more opportunities.

Gavin was a good scholar and excelled in most sports. After he finished his schooling he worked for the Savings Bank in Adelaide; however, he soon became bored with counting pennies and went to work on his Aunt Elsie Staude's farm in Cannawigra, near Mundulla.

He served in World War I at Gallipoli and in France and when he was in his 20s he won the Mail Medal playing football for Kimba.

Wendy was the third child born to May and Stan Watson on September 20, 1930, who took up land at Cannawigra in the early 1900s.

Wendy loved horses and rode to school, first to the Cannawigra church and then onto Bordertown which was seven miles away. 

Wendy went on to become a dental nurse working in Bordertown. She spent most of her spare time riding and winning ribbons at country shows with her much loved horse "Flicka".

After Gavin and Wendy married in 1954 they settled in Kimba where their first home was nothing more than a shed with very basic amenities. 

Jan, their first child, was born in Kimba and their second, Gay, born at Cowell. 

They moved to Bordertown where Gavin worked in various jobs and the birth of two more children, Brett and Tania, completed the family.

Their last move was to the Lucindale farm "Inneslee" in 1963 after they purchased the property from Wendy's uncle Lee McInnes.

The old home came with many old memories, photos and memorabilia with the southern side of the Mount Gambier stone home built in 1900 and added to in 1928.

Fifty-two years later, they still live there.

Both Gavin and Wendy have been very active in the community, first with the school while the family was educated, then with various sporting clubs and as volunteers. 

Gavin worked tirelessly for the SA Ambulance and was honoured with a life membership. He missed many day trips and functions due to this commitment. He spent some time as a councillor, Scout leader and was a charter member of Lucindale Lions Club. 

Both Wendy and Gavin have been stalwarts of the Lions club, recently selling an area of their land to the club, now known as Yakka Park. 

Wendy was involved in Brownies, girl guides, the choral society and is a 50-year member of Red Cross. 

She was also a member of the palette club and went away on many painting trips. 

In 1986 she held an exhibition at Chardonnay Lodge, selling 30 paintings that Gavin had framed for her - there are many homes in the district with a Wendy Wilson painting on the wall. 

Both have enjoyed golf and are still keen bowlers and they maintain and enjoy the large garden at "Inneslee.

Both remain young of heart and health, recovering remarkably well from past scares.

There is a constant stream of family and friends making the most of their wonderful hospitality - Gavin's readiness with a refreshing beverage and Wendy's award winning culinary skills.

They are much loved and considered "pretty cool" by their nine grandchildren and enjoy teaching them the finer points of cribbage and 500. 

Gavin and Wendy have stayed in Lucindale and the family home long after many of their friends retired to larger townships and smaller houses. 

They continue to enjoy the friendly community spirit of Lucindale.

Gavin and Wendy celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a gathering in Adelaide, coinciding with a "Wilson" family reunion.

Their special weekend started with their son Brett flying them to Adelaide and ended with a scenic flight home over the Coorong.

They were treated to a luxury stay at the beautiful Adina Motel on Victoria Sq, the old treasury building which has been renovated in grand old style, and perfect weather made for a lovely picnic at the new park off Oaklands Rd.

Their family wish them continued good health and happiness whereever their future years may take them.

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