Pearces are the perfect pair after 50 years of marriage

Pearces are the perfect pair after 50 years of marriage

Care for each other and other people is the secret to a long and happy marriage, according to Ian and Raelene Pearce.

The Victor Harbor couple is celebrating 50 years of marriage in a low-key way this Saturday, September 11.

Ian Pearce met Raelene Parsons back in the Sunday School days at the Buckingham Methodist Church near Mundulla, which is near Bordertown.

The first sparks flew when they were young, according to Raelene.

"He held my hand in the back of the church, that's when it started," she said.

It was fleeting, though, as Ian soon went off to high school at Roseworthy, north of Adelaide. It wasn't until they were reunited in their late teens at a Rural Youth Ball in Keith that they could kick things off.

He lived between Keith and Tintinara, while she lived at Mundulla, but together they would got to dances around the district or visit the drive-in at Willalooka or Bordertown.

After about two years of dating, they got engaged in June 1971, and on September 11 that year they became husband and wife in front of 120 guests at the Mundulla Methodist Church.

Their honeymoon started in Warracknabeal in Victoria, but they decided they would then travel through the Riverland to Port Augusta, where they spent time with relatives who could not attend the wedding before coming home to Keith.

While moving between towns in the south east and Adelaide for work, they had three daughters: Susan, Karen, and Natalie.

They now have nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild, who they are very proud of.

Ian and Raelene moved to Victor Harbor in 2010 as a retirement option and also for care options for Natalie, who has epilepsy.

The doting couple says compassion and compromise are key elements of their long and happy marriage.

"We have our ups and downs, but we bounce off each other," Ian said.

"We help each other and we help other people," Raelene added.

"Friendships are the most important part of our lives, and we're always trying to help where we can."