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Love still sparkles after 60 years of marriage

Posted: 12pm 08 Jan 2021

Neville Dacey’s grandfather thought Margaret Palmer looked like a “nice girl” and Margaret thought Neville looked like a gentleman when they met at a dance at Gaythorne.

He was there with his grandfather, who was one of the organisers, while Margaret was there on the spur of the moment with friends after a last-minute invitation.

Enduring love

More than 60 years later, it’s clear that they were meant to be together as they share stories and recall the evening they met.

“We were out playing tennis and my friend said `does anyone want to come to the dance?’,” Margaret says.

“He (Neville) saw we girls talking and I looked at him and thought `he’s a gentleman’,” she laughs.

Family celebration

The Scarborough couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Boxing Day with family on the rooftop of the apartment complex where they live – which coincidentally overlooks the waterfront where Margaret and her family camped for 20 years when she was a child.

Dancing was a constant during their courtship – they even won a limbo competition.

Music still features in their lives and they regularly play Nat King Cole – including his song Too Young, which Margaret jokes could have been written specially for them.

Father’s approval

Her brother was a developer and offered to build the couple a home at Enoggera. They couldn’t move in until they were married, but with Margaret having just turned 20, her father declared she was too young to wed.

“But then some boys threw rocks through the window because no-one was living there,” Neville recalls.

Again, they approached Margaret’s father, explaining that one of the rocks, which smashed the loungeroom window, had come perilously close to damaging the new stove as well.

“Daddy said `alright, she can get married younger’,” Margaret says, smiling at the recollection.

The Daceys were married at the Presbyterian Church at Stafford on December 26, 1960, holding their reception at the Freemasons Lodge in Pickering St, Enoggera.

Honeymoon adventure

They honeymooned in Sydney, driving down in a 1942 Chevrolet Neville rebuilt with his grandfather.

“We had a bed, an esky and a two-burner stove,” Neville says. “It was a great adventure.”

Neville had completed an apprenticeship as a French Polisher, but worked at the Department of Justice for a time, returning to his trade upon his retirement.

“We also owned a hardware at Alderley for 14 years,” Margaret says.

Together the Daceys raised two sons, Scott and Andrew, and have 12 grandchildren.

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