Harry and Helen Christian celebrate.
Harry and Helen Christian celebrate. Brett Wortman

Couple celebrate 65 years

IN SIXTY-FIVE years, Harry Christian has never lost a wallet.

Which means the 89-year-old Mount Coolum man still has the 1945 black and white photograph of a pretty air force Spitfire squadron driver that she gave him.

What came next was an enduring love story that began with the backdrop of a bloody war and culminated this week with a very different setting for the 65th wedding anniversary of Sunshine Coast couple Harry and his "spitfire", Irish-born Helen.

The couple met at the Kenley RAF base, in the United Kingdom in 1945 during the Second World War when driver Helen was sent to pick up 24-year-old bomber command navigator Harry from the local railway station and several injured pilots.

"I remember he was very good looking - still is," said Helen with a cheeky laugh.

"He didn't have to pursue me that much" is all the 92-year-old would say on how her handsome Harry won her over.

The couple married a year later, with Helen wearing a simple pink suit she bought with coupons given to her by the RAF when she completed her service.

"It was a lovely sunny day, and he looked wonderful," Helen recalled on their September 19 anniversary.

Difficult housing opportunities for ex-servicemen and women later sent the young couple and their young children Valerie and Michael to Johannesburg.

The family stayed for 10 years as Harry worked as a structural engineer before moving to Melbourne at the encouragement of Helen's Aussie-based sister.

When the children left home in 1974, Harry and Helen made the move to the Coast where they had previously bought land at Peregian.

The active and vibrant couple celebrated their September milestone with little fanfare, just a coffee at Noosa.

But the couple, regular faces on the golf course near their home, will celebrate when their family returns from an overseas holiday.

"Harry doesn't play (golf), but he likes to give me advice," said Helen dissolving into giggles.

They have a youthful love of life and both say their shared love of gardening, walks and respect for each other was the secret.

"He's a man of few words. He's a wonderful husband. Even today the girls ask if he has any brothers."


Children Valerie, 62, and Michael, 60, and grandson Paul, 26.

Sixty-five years ago they shared their first dance as newlyweds to favourite song "Till the End of Time".

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