ON THE stage at university in Bathurst, Graeme was aced.
He saw Marie enter the auditorium from the tennis courts during speeches for a college election, and it turned out to be a bit more than a case of 15-love.
Fittingly enough, Graeme and Marie were at the Mitchell teachers’ college in Bathurst and on December 20, they celebrated 60 years as Mr and Mrs Mitchell.
“I was up on the stage for something at the college, it must have been the election for the college council,” Mr Mitchell remembered.
“You came in from the tennis courts in your tennis gear and I spotted her there. It was a while after that we got together.”
You came in from the tennis courts in your tennis gear and I spotted her there, it was a while after that we got together.- Graeme Mitchell's first impression of future wife
The pair dated for a number of years before they married on the 20th of December, 1958, at St Anne’s church in Strathfield.
For Marie, she remembered it was a hot day marked with “a lot of excitement and dramas”, while the first thing Graeme called to memory was the need to “keep the car safe” from “all the blokes around the place who wanted to spike it”.
Marie’s parents were teachers, while Graeme’s family were railway workers, so the pair had very peripatetic lives growing up and together. They finally laid down roots in Tamworth in 1974, where Mr Mitchell became the deputy principal of Oxley High School.
Mrs Mitchell worked casually as a primary school teacher while raising the couple’s three children.
Since then, they’ve welcomed two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren into the world as well.
While 60 years is a significant stretch, their strategy for success was succinct and simple.
“Just working together and being together and travelling the countryside together,” Mrs Mitchell said.
“We’re still working together managing to look after each other, aren’t we?”
Mr Mitchell added: “We will agree to disagree on any occasion.”
“We get on pretty well.”
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