A love story that has spanned more than 70 years

Alan and Betty Farmilo are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Alan and Betty Farmilo are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Picture: ROBERT PEET

Alan and Betty Farmilo were 12 years old when the young man went up to his soon-to-be sweetheart and introduced himself with a kiss.

It was the start of a love story that has spanned more than 70 years.

The 81-year-olds celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Thursday, to be followed by the anniversary of their first kiss on Monday.

They renewed their vows in front of family and friends on Saturday night, using the same words as on their wedding day.

Mr Farmilo was an apprentice plumber when he married Mrs Farmilo, a dressmaker.

Alan and Betty Farmilo wed on April 10, 1954, in St John's Campsie.

Alan and Betty Farmilo wed on April 10, 1954, in St John's Campsie.

They met during a Saturday afternoon movie screening in Campsie.

"I was sitting in the cinema when he just kissed me," Mrs Farmilo said.

"I liked it and I went back the next week for some more."

At 21, the pair were set to get married, but that did not stop Mrs Farmilo's father from grounding her for a week just before the wedding.

The couple had gone on a date to Manly beach but missed the train home and arrived back past midnight.

"I had a very strict father," she said.

"Curfew was about 11pm."

They wed on April 10, 1954, in St John's Campsie, followed by a reception with about 120 guests.

"I was sitting in the cinema when he just kissed me.''

"I was sitting in the cinema when he just kissed me.''

After a glitch with the honeymoon bookings, the newly-weds went to the Coffs Harbour Jetty bed and breakfast, occupied by wharfies and workmen.

Although it was not the romantic getaway they envisioned, they loved it.

"The wharfies were there, drinking and one would sprout Shakespeare, another was a concert pianist," Mrs Farmilo said.

"We started off our life on two shillings and a keg of beer from my father."

The pair's financial difficulties did not end there.

At one point the couple lived in a caravan in Bulli for three months, while trying to sort out housing.

Mr Farmilo, a plumbing teacher, moved to the Illawarra for a promotion.

Money came and went, but the couple's love remained.

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