Lloyd Levingston has been a dedicated Lions Australia member for 28 years and the District 201N1 Zone 7 chairperson for the last 17 of those, but he says he could not have done it without his best mate Pauline by his side.
The couple met more than 60 years ago when Pauline moved to Walcha from the village of Somerton to do nursing at the Walcha Hospital.
"Two of our mates that we used to knock about together with introduced us, and we just stepped out together from there," Mr Levingston said.
Their first date was at a dance in Niangala Hall, and Pauline said her impressions of Lloyd were that he was lovely, and Lloyd says the feeling was mutual.
"I thought she was terrific," he said.
"It was a really great get together - one of those things that only happen once in your life, I suppose."
Pauline's great sense of humour was one of the qualities that made him think she was the one for him, Mr Levingston said.
"We had a good mateship, and anything she had to say, she was straight to the point," he said.
Mrs Levingston agreed and said the fact they got on as friends before romance blossomed was one of the biggest attractions for her.
The couple were married on February 25, 1961 (when Pauline was only 19 and Lloyd was 21) and went on to have five girls. They now have 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
The highlight of their marriage, they say, was the rearing of their family.
"Our family has been marvellous to us and paid us back 10 fold what we have done for them," Mr Levingston said.
"Another special thing for us is that we have travelled a lot around Australia together and we always got away every 12 months as a family when the children were young.
"We never missed a year to have a family holiday away somewhere."
Pauline gave up nursing to be a full-time mum once the children came along, but she was always an active member of the community and was named on the 2020 Hidden Treasures Honour Roll last November. Lloyd also served as a Walcha Councillor for 20 years.
The couple says they could only achieve what they did with each other's support and perseverance during the difficult times.
"We just hung together and worked it out between ourselves," Mr Levingston said.
"There was no one-sided argument, and we helped one another.
"It is important, to be honest with one another and respect those around you,
"We were lucky with our family and the support of this wonderful town. Walcha and the local Lions Club have been very good to us."
Pauline had a stroke 12 months ago and now resides in the Elizabeth Crosse Ward at Walcha MPS - it is the first time the couple have been separated in 59 years, and Lloyd visits his wife at least every second day and tries to take her out as much as he can.
Pauline and Lloyd Levingston celebrated together last Thursday, the day of their anniversary, and with all their family at lunch on Saturday.
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