IT was love at first sight for Bernie and Veronica Passlow.
And, the care has not stopped in the more than 50 decades they have spent together.
The Muswellbrook couple celebrated 50 years of marriage on Saturday, September 30.
“I left Muswellbrook to go to Coffs Harbour with a friend,” Mrs Passlow recalled.
“And, I met him a month after I got there.”
The pair were married at the coastal town, before moving back to the Upper Hunter nine years later, in 1976.
Mrs Passlow is well known in town for her many years at Muswellbrook Arcade.
Mr Passlow’s professional career has been centered around green keeping, for a variety of organisations and groups, including 27 years at Muswellbrook Shire Council.
“And, for the last year, I’ve been back at Scone Golf Club, where I worked 30 years ago,” he said.
Mr Passlow said the pair had a “pretty fair run through life”.
“The kids, they grew up on the farm at Arrowfield,” he said.
“We sort of had a pretty fair innings.
“We have two girls, and we have two grandsons at Merriwa.”
Mrs Passlow said trust was the the secret to a long marriage, to which her husband agreed.
“My father gave me some great advice,” Mr Passlow said.
“He said, ‘treat your wife as your best friend, and you’ll cruise’.
“If I had have been able to write a script of my in-laws that I wanted when I got married, I couldn't have described them better.
“They treated me like a son.”
“And, his parents treated me like a daughter,” added his wife.
“They were just magic; I think that’s another clue of staying, if somebody doesn’t like your spouse it would make it hard.”
“Muswellbrook’s been good to us,” Mr Passlow said.
“It’s changed to what it was when we first came down.
“I’ve retired twice, but I like working.
“I’m 71 years young, and can handle it with a lot of the younger men.
“I think we’ve been lucky.
“Out of all our siblings, and there’s eight of them, we’re the only ones who have gone the distance.”
Mr Passlow said he had based most of his married life on a little poem that was on their kitchen fridge for years.
It read: Don't walk in front of me – I may not follow; don't walk behind – I may not lead; walk beside me and just be my friend.
The pair celebrated their anniversary with family and friends.