After nearly 50 years of marriage, love lives on for Mercy Place Woree resident Margaret Gillies and her husband Kipp.
The couple, who have lived in Cairns for more than 20 years, will celebrate 49 years of marriage in July, with Kipp endorsing his wife as a “wonderfully loyal partner”, particularly during the 25 years he worked shifts as a member of the New South Wales police force.
The couple met in 1969 after Kipp attended a traffic accident in Sydney. He noticed his future sweetheart watching the scene from a nearby house, and soon after they went on a double date.
The rest, as they say, is history, with the couple marrying on 18 July 1970 at St Mark’s Catholic Church on Tranmere Street, Drummoyne. A few months later they made their first of many moves, making their first home in the small country town, Manilla in NSW, just North West of Tamworth. That set the pattern for their married lives, which saw them living in various rural communities as a result of Kipp’s job.
“Marg’s been a wonderful wife, putting up with my shift work and also the challenges of being the spouse of a police sergeant,” says Kipp. “And despite the hardship of growing up in an orphanage, she’s been a wonderful mum. Throughout our marriage it has always been just “our family” as we were never in one place long enough to make many friends, so our relationship has always been special.
“We’ve had a very traditional partnership in that, after we were married, Marg looked after our daughter and I was the breadwinner, and then when I “medically retired” in 1993 we moved to Cairns and bought the house my parents were living in at the time.
“We have both always been devoted to each other, and even though she now lives at Mercy Place Woree after a major stroke 11 years ago, I visit her twice a day and we always lunch and have dinner together.”
Mercy Health Woree Service Manager, Charlene Reyes, says couples like Kipp and Margaret epitomise Valentine’s Day, demonstrating total loyalty to each other, as well as love.
“Margaret and Kipp’s partnership is an excellent example of a successful marriage,” Charlene said. “It will be wonderful to see them celebrate Valentine’s Day. Kipp visits Margaret twice a day without fail at Mercy Place Woree, and it’s clear to see that the couple absolutely adore each other.”
Find out more about Mercy Health.