Couple celebrates milestone
WARWICK'S Laurie and Mavis Reibelt may just be Queensland's longest-married couple.
On the last day of every year, the devoted pair celebrate another year of wedded bliss, last month reaching a milestone of which most could never dream - their 76th year as man and wife.
Mr and Mrs Reibelt's three children - Mercia Easey, Laurence Reibelt and Patricia Hartnett - joined them to celebrate their anniversary in a quiet gathering at their home at Akooramak.
The happy couple - both well into their 90s - have been side by side for a lifetime and daughter Patricia Hartnett said their love was still burning.
Despite the amazing effort of sticking together all these years, the couple chose a low-key celebration for their anniversary.
"They didn't want anything and didn't want to make a big fuss," Mrs Hartnett said.
Mrs Reibelt's 96-year-old sister and fellow Akooramak resident, Phyllis Humphreys also helped the couple celebrate their big day.
Mrs Hartnett said the secret to her parents' longevity was certainly good genes and she was blessed to grow up with parents who adored one another.
And their love is still evident, with Mr Reibelt often declaring his love for the woman he fondly calls "Nellie".
"When we were growing up there wasn't a day when Dad didn't kiss Mum and they are still very much in love," Mrs Hartnett said.
"If Dad is away from Mum too long, he frets for her and asks 'Where's my Nellie dear?'."
They were teenagers when their paths crossed at Thanes Creek for the first time and it was a bona fide case of love at first sight.
"They met when they were 16 and 17 and Dad fell in love with her straight away. He always said she was the only one he was ever going to marry," Mrs Hartnett said.
The couple had an extravagant celebration for their 75th anniversary and received special praise from the Queen, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg and Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott.
A spokeswoman for the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages yesterday was unable to confirm whether the Reibelts were the longest-married couple in Queensland.