A lifetime of love

LOVE: Valentine's Day John and Eril Dinning. Photo: Laura Sneath
LOVE: Valentine's Day John and Eril Dinning. Photo: Laura Sneath

Valentine's Day has rolled around again, and Naracoorte couple Eril and John Dinning spent some time reminiscing on the 64 years they have shared together.

After meeting in 1956, the couple have lived their life to the fullest, had four children and are now grandparents to six grandchildren.

John and Eril met while working on their family farms, not too far apart from one another.

"I sort of knew she was around for quite a while. I sort of took a bit of a fancy to her," John told the Herald.

Eril said: "We got engaged and we were engaged for three or four years."

They were married at Bordertown Anglican Church in 1959 - a day which the pair remember very well. "It was 112 degrees," they said. "The people at Mundella catered for it. How they kept everything cool and nice on a day like that is beyond me, but it was beautiful," Eril said. "I remember the minister. He was an ex-airforce man.

"First thing he said to everyone was, 'gentleman, you may take off your coats'."

Their honeymoon was spent travelling around the South East SA and South West Victoria through the Grampians. It wasn't long before their children were born and Eril and John raised them to be hard-working, driven individuals.

They sent them to Naracoorte High School before they became adults and went their separate ways. Luckily, Eril and John are visited regularly at their new home at Longridge Aged Care. "We have been so lucky. To me, the highlights of our marriage are having four children with lovely wives and beautiful grandchildren," Eril said.

The couple spent time travelling through Europe and have visited Ireland and New Zealand multiple times.

They both came to Longridge about one year ago and they couldn't be happier with the life they have lived and what is on the horizon.

"The staff are really good. I am not a person who looks for problems, but I couldn't find one if I tried," she said.

Valentine's Day is celebrated each year on February 14, and like John and Eril are doing, this Friday is a day to spend with someone you love.

For more romance, see what a former Padthaway man is doing to find love: P6