Sharing their lives and their drinks for 70 years, Richard and Dorothy Thomas celebrate Show Day – their anniversary – at the Gympie Show.
Sharing their lives and their drinks for 70 years, Richard and Dorothy Thomas celebrate Show Day – their anniversary – at the Gympie Show. Tanya Easterby

A 70-year Gympie Show romance

DESPITE being married by "the Pope", Dorothy and Richard Thomas's 70-year Gympie Show romance is one made on earth as much as in heaven.

Five generations gathered at the showgrounds dining room on Show Friday to celebrate a marriage built on hard work and mutual respect as much as the romantic emotions of two young Australians in 1944.

"It's been a great journey," Dorothy told The Gympie Times, "with all the ups and the downs.

"But we made it and we've always remained faithful to each other.

"We were married in the Surface Hill Methodist Church by the Rev Colin Pope on Show Day, May 17, in 1944.

"Not many people can say they were married by the Pope," she laughs.

"We met at a dance at Lower Wonga 14 months before that.

"We've only missed a couple of (Gympie) shows.

"It's been over 70 years and we're still together."

Grand-daughter Leanne Heck thinks the whole romantic story is just great.

"Every year on May 17, they celebrate their anniversary. Granddad's always shouted Grandma lunch here.

"They had their 60th anniversary here at the Pavilion."

"We've got a house at Everson Ln, Gympie," Dorothy said.

"We've been there for 32 years. Before that we were in Kilkivan. We had a bulk milk farm. The youngest son's got it now.

"This could be our last show together, the way Richard's going, but we'll keep coming, by the grace of God.

"We've got five generations here today. That baby, Caleb, is five months old and the fifth generation.

"We've got 16 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren and now, one great great grandchild.

"My eldest son's here too. He's not married.

"We've got four married kids, three girls and one boy."

Ups and downs though she concedes there have been, Show Friday was a day for sunshine and celebration, with not a cloud in the sky and not a "down" to be seen.

It was a big bright day for a couple who have been together longer than most of us have been alive.

Gympie Times


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