Still the One I Love: Ray + Betty

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A SOLID FOUNDATION

Love stories don’t get much sweeter than this. Ray and Betty found each other through a chance encounter at a friend’s place; Ray was in a band, and little did he realise that picking up his drummer on the way to practise would lead to him meeting the woman he would spend his forever with. “I was in a band called The Dominoes where I played bass. Our pianist (and good friend), Denis, asked if I would like to go and practise over at Bronte Surf Club. We picked up our drummer on the way which is where I first laid eyes on Betty. I knew then and there I had to see her again,” shares Ray.

Betty was very taken by this young man, becoming smitten with him as soon as she heard him speak. “I was at my friend Rhonda’s house and I heard this voice from another room, and immediately became interested in this handsome young man. I offered for them to practise at my house as we had a piano—as long as Ray came,” explains Betty.

After two years of dating, the pair finally had the big conversation … marriage. Ray followed tradition and asked Betty’s father, Chic, for his blessing—he was happy to oblige. A celebration ensued, and on August 30 1961 the couple were married.

“We decided to get married in the Sydney Registry Office on William Street. Back then it was hard to get time off work, so we met at the Office at 4pm so I could work in the morning. We asked 15 or so of our family and friends to witness our wedding,” shares Ray.

“It was a simple but heartfelt ceremony, then we went back to the unit I shared with my parents and had a simple celebration before heading off to Nelson Bay for a few days,” Betty adds.

Making a commitment to love someone, and having that promise see a marriage last for over 57 years, you would be pretty confident that you found your one. Looking back, it’s plain for the pair to see they were destined from the start.

“We had an immediate attraction and I felt comfortable in his company. We just clicked from the beginning and I could picture myself settling down with Ray,” explains Betty.

“I knew Betty was the one for me from the beginning. She was easy to talk to on various subjects. We had similar interests such as fishing, watching sporting events, going on car trips as well as dancing if we went out for dinner,” shares Ray.

Whilst Ray and Betty may have found their perfect match, their marriage still took a lot of work and wasn’t without its conflicts. But what made all the difference was their commitment to see the relationship through in any season. “I have always believed, ‘Never go to bed or let the sun go down on your anger’. Having said that, it very rarely happened, if at all, as we were always able to address any issues before it would get to that,” shares Betty.

Through the lows can come many highs, and Betty and Ray are one such testament to that, each spurring on the other when it comes to living out their dreams and aspirations. “Making decisions together has helped us achieve our goals along the way. While I haven’t always lived close to the water, one of my interests has been fishing, so I would go when I had the chance. Betty would often come and do some sketching of the scenery. We have always lived within our means, while also living very comfortably.”

After over 50 years of riding out the waves of life together, the pair have gathered a wealth of knowledge to share with other couples about to face this journey. Patience, honesty and trustworthiness have always been key for them, adding that communication is vital to make all of these happen.

But the real gems they would like to share? “To me, marriage is the ultimate relationship, especially if it is with the right person. Choose wisely,” offers Ray. “Marriage is one of the most important commitments you will make, so look after it, nurture it. You won’t regret it,” adds Betty.

Credits

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