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Diamonds in the rough

11 Feb 2016

Diamonds in the rough Image

For diamond wedding anniversary couple Joe and Marge Bagnara, 60 years of marriage has been nothing but a wonderful journey.  

The former Southbank Residents Group president and his wife celebrated the special milestone last month with family and friends.  

The rare feat was also duly acknowledged with congratulatory letters from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Governor General Peter Cosgrove and Her Majesty the Queen.

Mr Bagnara said over the pair’s 60 years together, their love for one and other had only grown stronger.

“They talk about what love is and as I get older I’ve become more attached to Marge than I was when we were younger,” he said.

“I don’t know whether that’s the ageing process but if she’s gone for too long I start going ‘where’s Marge?’”

Both born and raised in Wonthaggi in south-eastern Victoria, the pair first met in the town’s local hospital where they were working at the time.

Since then, their marriage has survived moves to Ararat, Maryborough and Ballarat as well as the birth of four children.

Mrs Bagnara said the secret to their successful relationship had been a combination of care and commitment.

“People are no longer committed in the same way,” she said. “We took it (marriage) very seriously and if we did have a hiccup you didn’t walk away and pack up and say I’m going to have a look somewhere else!”

And it’s a value that has undoubtedly been passed down to the next generation, with all four of their children each now happily married, three of which have also given birth to kids of their own.

Since moving to their Southbank home 20 years ago, Mr Bagnara said it had provided them with the perfect location to build a wonderful family home and help raise their eight grandchildren.

“I hope that we have been a part of that successful family unit and particularly Marge because she’s baby-sat for years and years. Every child has been nurtured twice,” he said.

“We couldn’t imagine living anywhere else, Southbank has been a wonderful place to live.”

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