LOVEBIRDS Barry and Ella Skinner are celebrating 60 years since they tied the knot.
The long-time residents of Armidale held a party surrounded by family and friends on Saturday.
Mr Skinner said he couldn’t ask for anything better than what he has with his wife.
“When I walked into the room today and saw all of our family, I thought, ‘Did we start this 60 years ago?’,” he said.
When we got married we were barely more than children, and now we’ve spent just about our whole lives together.Barry Skinner
“When we got married we were barely more than children, and now we’ve spent just about our whole lives together.”
And, the happy couple even received a latter from Her Majesty the Queen, along with the governor-general and Member for New England Barnaby Joyce.
The pair were married in Glen Innes on April 11, 1958.
Years later they have three children, Steven, Jenny and Richard who all grew up in Armidale after Ella and Barry relocated to send the kids to school.
Their legacy includes 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
But, Mrs Skinner said like all marriages, it isn’t always easy.
“We had hardly any money, but we managed,” she said.
“We always wanted the best for our children, it wasn’t easy but we did the hard yards and got there.”
As a young couple they lived at Chiswick, where Mr Skinner worked as a farm hand.
With little in the way of material possessions, they worked hard as a team until they took charge of a small sheep farming operation across New England, while Mrs Skinner worked at the University of New England.
Mr Skinner later made himself known as general assistant at Armidale City and Sandon Public Schools.
At their anniversary celebration, each of their children said they were proud at the foresight shown by their parents.
“Your priorities have always been family, and those of us who benefited from that now put those same priorities into practice,” eldest son Steven Skinner said.