Golden advice for a happy and long marriage

Ann and David Stodart, of Two Wells, have hit the golden age.

The popular local couple celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last month and say love, laughter and adventure are a great foundation for a long-lasting life together.

Married on February 12, 1971, at St Ignatius Church in Norwood, the pair, who have two children Tiffany and Dylan, and six grandchildren, marked the occasion with family and friends 50 years to the day, at 1918 Restaurant in Tanunda.

Two of Ann’s bridesmaids and the best man were also able to attend the celebrations.

After their nuptials, Ann and David settled in Sydney for a few years, before heading back to South Australia and spending time in Waikerie, Crystal Brook, and Pt Augusta.

They first moved to Two Wells in 1978, with their two young children but moved again, this time to Birdsville in Queensland, then Halls Creek in Western Australia, and later, Innamincka.

Travel has long been a thread of Ann and David’s marriage, as has the world of hospitality and outback pubs.

The pair has managed and owned pubs across the country and have loved every adventure they were presented with.

It’s ironic this industry should play such a pivotal part in their lives together; they first met in the front bar of the old Castle Hotel on South Road, Adelaide.

Ann and David finally settled in Two Wells for good in 2001 to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

Relationships these days never seem to last like they did just a few short generations ago.

Ann and David, however, are a shining example of what it takes to make a marriage work.

They speak of teamwork, perseverance, friendship, love, laughter and adventure and openly acknowledge you have to take the good with the bad and work hard at making a marriage last.

“When we got married, David said to me ‘I promise you will always have food in your belly and a roof over your head’, and that’s what we’ve always had,” Ann said.

“Our life hasn’t been boring, we’ve done so much and wherever we’ve lived I never thought ‘why are we here?’, I thought ‘I’ll just make the best of it,’ and we’ve certainly had some great experiences.”

“The good times far outweigh the bad times,” David added.

The pair admit they have their “yelling matches” but said their recipe for love includes laughter, tolerance and patience.

“Make life fun,” David advised.

“We have a lot of fun,” Ann quipped.

“And we’ve done a lot of things, we’ve been very lucky in life.

“We’re not procrastinators by any stretch.”

The couple encourage people to travel in their own backyard, as well as overseas, if they get the opportunity, and nurture similar interests.

“Music is our thing,” Ann said.

“We love music; listening to it, talking about it and watching live shows.”

They advise people to “give things a go”, even if they are new or scary and add a little spontaneity into their lives when they can.

Seeing as I recently celebrated my 19th wedding anniversary, I think I’ll take on Ann and David’s advice; I have a long way to go before I reach their golden achievement.

Congratulations Ann and David, cheers to many more.

(Ed: Happy anniversary Bec and Kieren for February 24!)

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