“Trust, love and being loyal and open-minded are some of the key ingredients to a successful and happy marriage,” explained Ram Sivparsad, 75.
His wife, Ramolla, 69, said: “We sometimes have our disagreements but when we do, we understand that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and we respect each other too much to let misunderstandings and arguments get between us.”
The couple, who celebrated their golden anniversary with their three children and five grandchildren in June at home in Newcastle, said they looked forward to spending many more years together.
But how did these love birds meet?
Sivparsad said he had moved to Newcastle from the coal mining town of Wesselsnek in 1965, and did not think he would meet his marriage partner there.
The-then 25-year-old was intrigued at seeing this beautiful woman on her way to work.
“I fancied her the moment I saw her and I knew I needed to make a move that day or I would regret it later,” Sivparsad said.
“I plucked up the courage and approached her. We chatted and became friends. Only later did I have the courage to tell her how I felt about her.”
Ramolla said: “Ram was handsome. He still is. What sparked my interest was his kindness and willingness to spend time with me.”
Sivparsad worked at the global packing company, Amcor, and Ramolla worked in sales at Morkels furniture store.
After months of friendship and exchanging letters, Sivparsad sent a letter to Ramolla, telling her that if she did not reciprocate his love he would kill himself.
“I didn’t want anything to happen to him, so I told him I felt the same way and that he should approach my family.”
Cutting a lonely figure, Sivparsad approached Ramolla’s parents for her hand in marriage and they accepted the proposal. They were engaged within a few months and married on June 30, 1968.
“We got married at her home. It’s quite interesting really: Ramolla and I had a joint wedding with her sister, Dhan, and her husband. Their brother, Bobby, tied the knot the day before.”
He said about 300 guests attended their big event and feasted on vegetable breyani, dhall, salad and soji, while being entertained by the Riverside orchestra.
Sivparsad wore a blue suit and his bride, a matching coloured sari.
After marriage, they remained in Newcastle and Ramolla started a new job as a receptionist. They were blessed with three children - Usha, Sudhesh and Vinash.
While the couple’s favourite pastime is gardening, they also enjoy travelling and watching Indian soapies.
“We holidayed for the first time in 1983 in India and since then we have travelled locally and to the Far East. There’s nothing better than exploring the world with your significant other,” beamed Sivparsad.