SIXTY years ago on Thursday newlyweds Aileen and and Lockie Maher were in a convoy barreling down the Hume Highway.
The couple had married at 11am at the Catholic church in Benalla and cars were following them up the road as they headed on their honeymoon.
"In those days somebody would always chase the wedding car, and this sort of thing," Mr Maher said.
They had a challenge on their hands. Mr Maher's brother was driving them to their car 30 minutes up the road and wanted to get back to the wedding group to catch up with family and friends.
He was was putting his foot on the accelerator.
"We got up the road quite a bit and there were six or seven cars following us - all the young people," he said.
"I said (to my brother) 'you better stop and let them put confetti on the car'."
The couple met in Benella through a Christian youth group.
They were based in Elmore and Serpentine before selling up farmland and moving to Bendigo in 1988.
The secret to a happy marriage, Mrs Maher said, was to live apart. She was kidding, saying she had enjoyed all of the time she had spend with her husband.
Mr Maher had his own tongue-in-cheek response when asked for his take on the secrets to marriage.
"Don't argue. I could never win an argument!" he said.
They had five children and daughter Bernie Cole said part of their strength as a married couple was that they had always been very family-oriented.
"They are still very close with their siblings and are very, very close to their children and grandchildren," she said.
"When our kids were playing a lot of sport there would be one playing a game in the morning, one in the afternoon and one at night. They would be playing football or netball at three different venues and mum and dad would go to them all.
"They were involved to the point that their grandchildren's friends used to call them 'Pa Lockie' and 'Nana Aileen'."
The Mahers were planning a low key day on Thursday, with cake from staff at Bupa Aged Care Bendigo.
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