Don and Leonie Golding celebrate marriage milestone

Adam PoulsenGeraldton Guardian
Don Golding, 84, and wife Leonie, 80, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in April.
Camera IconDon Golding, 84, and wife Leonie, 80, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in April. Credit: Adam Poulsen, The Geraldton Guardian

In 1963, Don Golding and wife Leonie drove from Perth to Geraldton in an old diesel ute they bought for £15.

This year, the 1997 Geraldton Citizen of the Year and his soul mate celebrated 60 years of wedded bliss.

Not surprisingly, they have plenty of advice to offer young couples.

“A lot of blokes are still living in the past and don’t recognise that the woman has got any intelligence,” Mr Golding, 84, said.

“You can’t shout ‘you will do this and you will do that’. You might win for five minutes, but after six months you lose.”

Mrs Golding’s advice was simple: “never ask your husband to give up his bed for guests”.

“You always stay in the same bed regardless; guests sleep in the spare beds,” the 80-year-old said.

Mr and Mrs Golding met in 1957 after being set up by a mutual friend.

“I used to play guitar in a band in Perth when I was young,” Mrs Golding said. “The drummer invited me to his place one night and said bring your piano accordion. So I went, and Don was there.”

Don Golding and wife Leonie at their wedding on April 9, 1959. It was held at St Thomas’ Church in Claremont.
Camera IconDon Golding and wife Leonie at their wedding on April 9, 1959. It was held at St Thomas’ Church in Claremont. Credit: Supplied

Two years after moving to Geraldton, Mr Golding began working at Main Roads and later transferred to his hometown of Kalgoorlie, where he had previously worked in the gold mines.

“I learnt a lot about explosives in the mines, which stood me in good stead with Main Roads,” he said.

“They used my knowledge for blasting through hills.”

After several moves the family — including daughters Annette, Denise and Paula — returned to Geraldton in 1976.

Mrs Golding began working at the Geraldton police criminal investigation branch — now the detectives’ office — and went on to be the longest-serving employee at the station.

She retired in 2001 but jumped straight into volunteer work with Geraldton Volunteer Marine Rescue among many other roles.

When Mr Golding was named Citizen of the Year he was a member of 16 voluntary committees.

“Leonie’s been my backstop all the way; I couldn’t have achieved that without her being there,” he said.

Mrs Golding said the foundations of a successful marriage were tolerance, understanding and perseverance.

“You’ve just got to accommodate each other’s ideas,” she said.

“You’ve got to accept that you’re not perfect all the time and give in occasionally,” Mr Golding added.

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