Keith and Margaret Skennerton celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary at Gunabul.
Keith and Margaret Skennerton celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary at Gunabul.

Couple marks dual milestone

AFTER 50 golden years together Keith and Margaret Skennerton celebrated their union with 60 of their family and friends on Saturday.

The gathering was a bit of a surprise for Keith, who turned 80 on December 23.

He did not know it when he headed to Gunabul for the anniversary party, but many long-lost friends were there to celebrate his birthday too.

"What a surprise!" he said yesterday.

"I met up with so many of my friends, it's hard to explain. It nearly knocked me cold. They said we were going for breakfast on the veranda at Gunabul, there was no one there - then they got me inside.

"There were old friends I hadn't seen in years. It was a real good day," he said.

"I don't know how they kept it a secret."

The Skennertons' daughter Christine, who still lives in Gympie, had tracked down all the friends in the two months before the party.

Margaret's mother, Muriel Swann, who turns 97 next week, on January 29 (which is also Christine's birthday), was also at Gunabul.

Margaret and Keith were married on January 27, 1962, at St Patrick's church in Gympie. Their honeymoon was a road trip to Sydney.

Keith was living in Gympie when he met Margaret, who had been relieving at the National Bank for three weeks.

After they met at the Brothers Football Club - Keith was a footballer - she moved to Gympie.

They have lived at Tucker St ever since.

"Gympie was a good place for the kids to grow up," she said.

They have four children, Maree, Wendy, Peter and Christine, as well as seven grandchildren.

The secret to staying in love all these years, Margaret said, was being good friends.

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