Beautiful couple fell in love on the dance floor
GRETA and Noel Lamb first fell in love about 75 years ago as he twirled her around the dance floor.
And today, still just as in love, the pair celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in North Mackay.
"I can't believe it," Greta said. "It's just gone."
Daughter Jo-Anne Lamb said her parents "danced themselves together".
"The dancing was the big thing, it seemed to be the spark between them," she said.
They met at the Old Parish Hall where a friendship blossomed into lifelong love.
"We danced a lot together, we more or less fell for each other," Noel said.
During their romance, in 1946, Greta had also been training to become a registered nurse working in-house at the former Mater Hospital on Gordon St.
"She's very proud of her registered nursing qualification because women weren't allowed to work once they were married," Jo-Anne said.
So Greta laughed she sent Noel to Brisbane "because I wanted to finish" the training.
"It was four years study, and I was determined to finish," she said.
But Noel said the pair stayed in touch. "We used to write beautiful letters."
When he returned to Mackay the pair became engaged.
They were married on September 23, 1950 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church.
Greta grew up on a farm near Kuttabul and attended Hampden Primary School, even winning a statewide writing competition.
"She remembers with great affection the days spent with sisters and cousins playing in the surrounding bush and at waterholes and Boxing Days spent with the extended family at Seaforth," Jo-Anne said.
While Noel experienced the Japanese submarine raids on Sydney Harbour as a child growing up.
"Australian lives were being lost in a war that was now being fought very close to home," Jo-Anne said.
"Rationing regulations were in force until 1950 and the Depression was not yet a distant memory."
She said her dad joined the Citizen's Military Forces and was elevated to the rank of Lieutenant after he was too young to sign up for service.
"When (Greta) was nursing I used to come up and visit her. I used to come up after the parade in full gear and we'd sit out in front of the hospital and just sort of be with each other on (her break)," Noel said.
Once they were married, Greta had to leave work.
The pair had four children - first two girls, then two boys - Jo-Anne, Helen, Gregory and Peter, and eight grandchildren.
In 1954 the couple with their two daughters, who were birthed in Mackay, moved to Townsville before Noel landed a job as a Caltex oil salesman.
Then the family was transferred to Ayr, when Gregory was born. Noel's work also moved the family to Cairns and Mareeba.
In fact Greta said she had Peter in a little hospital at Mareeba "on the banks of the Barron River".
They moved back to Mackay in 1967 and Noel became an insurance salesman.
"(Mum) later took refresher training and returned to nursing at the Mater Hospital," Jo-Anne said.
"She continues to serve the Mater Hospital as a palliative care volunteer offering loving comfort to the sick and dying.
"She's done that for decades. It's in her lifeblood."
Dancing remained a big part of their lives until just a few years ago.
When asked his favourite thing about Greta, Noel with a cheeky smile said, "She was lovely to look at, lovely to hold, we kissed a lot".
"They're mad dancers," Jo-Anne said.
"They also were the trainers for the annual Anglican Debutante Balls for about 25 years."
Ms Lamb said her parents were "very strongly" tied to the Holy Trinity Anglican Church.
In fact this week was the first time the pair had returned to their church since the COVID-19 outbreak. Greta said she was given a bouquet and it was a lovely time.
Sadly only one of their children - Helen - would be able to attend the anniversary due to COVID-19 restrictions. And Greta said not being able to see her children and grandchildren had been the hardest part.
When asked the secret to their 70-year marriage both agreed there "has to be a lot of give and take".
"It's not something that goes smooth all the time - we're human beings, we can't agree with every little thing," Greta said.
"I think you have to be tolerant and we are always tolerant."
Jo-Anne said her parents, now in their early 90s, were "devoted to each other".
"They're made of the same stuff almost now," she said.
"They've come through all this stuff together, post war and establishing life together and then children.
Jo-Anne said her parents' milestone was "certainly an achievement worthy of celebration"
They will celebrate with 30 of their family and friends with a lunch at North Mackay Bowls Club.