Month-long engagement blooms into 50-year marriage

HOW soon is too soon to talk marriage?

For Woodlands couple Merrilyn and Delroy Brown, three weeks of knowing each other was long enough to know they were in it for life.

Fifty years later, the pair will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary on October 25.


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Before they ever met, Merrilyn saw a picture of Delroy on the wall while she was attending a church gathering in Sydney.

He was on his way to Australia from Jamaica to intern at the church.

"There was a little spiel under it and he was just about to arrive in Australia," Merrilyn said.

"I read it and thought, oh, I would like to marry that man but I told myself don't be silly."

When Delroy arrived at the church, the pair met and hit it off right away.

"I thought she was very calm and quiet, which was very appealing to me," Delroy said.

A game of cricket drew the two together when a group from the church went out together.

"I am from the West Indies and the West Indies was playing Australia then," Delroy said.

"Our relationship sort of sparked off from that, really."

Though it might seem the couple rushed into marriage, their love at first sight came as a shock even to them.

"I thought she was the right one and it felt good," Delroy said.

"In our first meeting, we clicked so well it seemed for life."

Delroy put the question to Merrilyn.

"(When he proposed) I thought, 'oh, wow, he feels the same way as I do'," Merrilyn said.

It is their differences that keep Merrilyn and Delroy as close as ever, half a century after tying the knot.

Merrilyn said she was the shier of the two and Delroy the more "upfront".

"I will speak out when she won't," Delroy said.

"I tend to like the limelight because I'm a preacher and college lecturer."

The tragic loss of their first child brought the couple closer together as they helped themselves through the heartbreak.

"She was stillborn and would have been nearly 50," Merrilyn said.

Delroy said the pair had to draw on their spiritual strength.

"It took a lot of prayer," Delroy said.

Though the majority of their marriage across Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley, the couple is planning a trip back to where it all began - Sydney - for their anniversary.

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