If you want to know the secret to a long and happy marriage, just ask Ken and Joan Potter of Living Choice Twin Waters. They have 77 years of experience and lots of wise advice to share after a full and “good life” together.
Ken and Joan’s remarkable wedding anniversary milestone was featured on the Channel 7 News with Village Manager, Simone McKenna, and Assistant Village Manager, Jenni Morris, visiting the couple bearing beautiful flowers and cakes.
Ken and Joan were married at age 19 at the Parish Church of St Martin in West Acton on 1st September 1945, only a few days after the Pacific War ended. They met at Joan’s company Christmas staff party.
“I saw her coming down the stairs and something clicked,” said Ken, who had been invited to the party by a friend. “I liked him too – the way he looked and acted,” added Joan. Nine months later, they were married. “In those days, because of the war, you didn’t waste any time!” said Ken.
Ken travelled to the wedding on a public bus as cars were rationed at the time. They spent a short honeymoon at Devon but returned home one day early as they had run out of money. “We used the last of our money to buy a large basket of Jersey tomatoes for our family,” added Joan.
Family has always been the most important thing to both Ken and Joan. “We came to Australia with two sons in 1952 and then had another three sons along the way,” said Ken. “Sadly, we lost one son to cancer shortly after our 60th Wedding Anniversary.”
Apart from their four sons, Ken and Joan have eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. On their 77th anniversary, they “Facetimed” three of their sons and one son, Martin, spent the week with them, joining them for a quiet lunch to celebrate their special day.
So, back to the “secrets” they shared for a happy marriage …
Ken: “My favourite thing about Joan is that she is short and fits neatly beneath my chin! It’s just worked out – we understand each other, we make allowances for one another, and we have a great bunch of kids. We’re happy to have got this far. I sometimes enjoy a gin and tonic at lunchtime and have a whisky every night – even my doctor approves.”
Joan: “The things I like about Ken are that he is steadfast, capable and loving. We care for – and trust - one another.”
Their son Martin shared some secrets too. “They’ve stayed together so long and are very caring and supportive. They have taken on life’s problems along the way and yes, there has been the occasional bickering, but it’s always resolved by the time the sun goes down.”
Footnote: Ken and Joan moved into Living Choice Twin Waters in September 2004 and celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in the newly completed leisure centre on 1st September 2005. For their 70th anniversary, the auditorium was once again decorated for a fabulous party attended by their family and friends. They celebrated their 75th anniversary at a local restaurant. To mark their 77th anniversary, long-time friends, Ron Boxall and Dorothy Blythe enjoyed a quiet drink with them and their son, Martin.
Ron was at their 70th anniversary too and read out a wonderful “Ode to the Potters” which ended with: “And so we congratulate you Joan and Ken, whose lives we’ve been a part. You have enriched the lives of each of us – we thank you from our heart.”
Congratulations, Ken and Joan – everyone at Living Choice is so very proud to have you living at the village!