Still The One I Love



Just like any ordinary Friday night, Rhys donned his smart attire, boarded the local tram, riding it down to Tyrell Hall in Newcastle to enjoy all the fun and frivolity of the town social. “It was when you used to dance with one person. That’s when dancing was dancing,” jokes Rhys. But this one evening, when Rhys donned his dapper attire, boarded the local tram, and rode it all the way down to Tyrell Hall to attend the social, little did he know that the next woman he would ask to dance would later become his wife.

“A friend of mine and myself went to the dance every week, and Beryl and her friend went from the hospital. They were nursing in Newcastle hospital, the Royal Newcastle,” explains Rhys. “I went and asked Beryl for a dance. We both went over, and my friend asked her friend Zoe and I asked Beryl. So that’s where we met.”

After they swayed on the dance floor under the fluorescent lights, Rhys again boarded the local tram, this time with a beautiful partner in tow, ready to take her to a sweet, low-key dinner at Joe’s Hamburgers—the starting point for a relationship that would span more than 50 years. But the early days of their relationship had to endure a little bit of distance. Beryl moved to Bexley in Sydney for work, but this didn’t deter Rhys from his regular visits. “I was nursing, and we actually dated through another couple,” explains Beryl.

“I used to go down and visit her every weekend, before we got married. We used to go to the town, and go to the pictures. She was there about a year or two before we got married,” adds Rhys. Almost 100 weekends of four-hour return trips, and the pair finally became husband and wife. “We were married in Brown Street Congregational Church—I always went to this one, and Beryl used to go to The Church of England. It was a family wedding—a fairly big wedding,” says Rhys. “We got married at the church, and we were taken out of the church and onto Hunter Street to take photos,” adds Beryl. Every year since has brought Beryl and Rhys closer, and to this day they still celebrate their marriage. “On our anniversary, we go out and have tea together. We might go to Wests Leagues Club or places like that,” shares Beryl and Rhys. And each one of these anniversaries is a triumph in weathering the ups and downs, the highs and lows of what a long-standing relationship involves.

They have come to admire and respect so much about one another over the years, but there are certain characteristics they’ve grown fond of most. “I love her stability,” shares Rhys. “She’s remained the same sort ever since I’ve known her. And she’s always been a worker … over at the Darrel Lea shop, and a hard worker at the hospital when she was nursing. She’s always been a stable person.” And for Beryl: “He never rouses. He never goes crook. He never whinges, and never wusses.” And if you are wondering what their secret is to reaching a string of marital milestones, it is simply, “Just respect one another. That’s all it takes to be together, is respect.”



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