By Mitchell Clarke
The love story of Mervyn and Toni Owen began back in 1956 at a jazz club.
This was, however, an unlikely place to find love.
“I’m not a jazz man at all,” Mervyn admitted.
Despite this admission, he went along with his younger brother, who was a friend of Toni’s at the time, and as the famous saying goes, the rest is history.
“Toni was there and I rather liked her, but she wasn’t all that easy to catch.”
The couple began dating in 1957, marrying in 1959 and moving to Australia the following year. A year later, their first son Cliff was born.
“We’ve been to so many places and done so many things together,” Mervyn said.
Now, 60 years later, the couple – both in their 80s – are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary.
The couple moved to Main Street Village in Pakenham two and a half years ago, despite Toni’s initial resistance.
“We’ve had the most wonderful life together and now we’ve ended up here in this village,” he said.
“I’ve been asked many times why we made the move here, but for me, it’s all about the community lifestyle.
“There are just so many wonderful people in this village that have become our friends.”
On Thursday 13 June, residents of the Main Street Village came together to celebrate the special event that Mervyn had spent weeks planning.
After some well co-ordinated secrecy, Toni wasn’t had no idea that her dedicated husband had been rallying “the village people” together.
“I had a feeling they might organise something small to celebrate, but that’s just because I know what this village is like,” Toni admitted.
“I certainly wasn’t expecting this, it’s a very nice way to celebrate our special day.”