Sharing some of the same interests, and working through their problems, have been two of the keys to Lugarno couple Nancy and Ron Hayes' long and happy, 60-year marriage.
Ron Hayes was born in Crown Street Women's Hospital in Sydney in 1937, the youngest of five siblings, who moved with their family from Annandale to Ramsgate during the war years.
Nancy Jenkins was born in St George Hospital in 1939, into a family with one older brother, whose parents moved the family from Hurstville to Rocky Point Road, Sans Souci when Nancy was 13.
Nancy and Ron met in 1954 at a local dance and married seven years later, on February 25, 1961, at St Patrick's Catholic Church Kogarah.
Nancy started work at age 15 in her parents' florist shop in Redfern, and continued in the florist industry until the mid-1980s, changing to sales work until her retirement in 2003.
Ron worked at Murdoch's - later to become Waltons - on a furniture truck, then as a printer for Pak Pacific and later as a truck driver with Norco. Later work for Ron was with Metal Manufacturers at Kogarah where he transported copper up from Port Kembla, and then in warehousing until his retirement.
In the early years, both Ron and Nancy were involved with the Ramsgate Junior Rugby League Football Club.
In 1972 Ron became involved with the St George District Rugby League Football Club, where he was the ground announcer at Jubilee Oval, Kogarah, until 1985. He was also on the football club committee during part of this time and the highlights for him were the two first grade premierships that the Club won and also going on two overseas end-of-season trips.
Over the years, one of Nancy's favourite pastimes has been spending time in her garden. She has also been a keen volunteer and involved with a vintage car club. In the last couple of years, Ron has been active with a local choir.
The couple has been living at Lugarno almost 50 years after moving there from Sans Souci in July 1971.
They have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.
Son Dean Hayes, who lives between Nowra and with his parents at Lugarno, said over the years his parents had enjoyed the NSW South Coast for holidays and "they still get there every now and again when they are free from the ongoing medical appointments that never give you much of a break!"
"The secret to long and happy marriage for them was having family support in their earlier years when they were trying to get established, and that family support came from Nancy's parents," said Dean.
"Working through all of your hurdles along the way and having an involvement in some of each other's interests all helps."
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