Love still strong after 65 years in Wonthella

Peter SweeneyGeraldton Guardian
Vintage in more ways than one. Stan and Joy Gratte have been married for 65 years.
Camera IconVintage in more ways than one. Stan and Joy Gratte have been married for 65 years. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

The unofficial “mayor and mayoress” of Wonthella are a pretty good advertisement for the suburb.

Stan and Joy Gratte lived the first decade of their married life in Sixth Street — and for the past 55 years have resided in Seventh Street.

“You could say we’re pretty content here,” Mrs Gratte said.

“The suburb was a bit different then — it was mostly land. We had a big poultry farm with 600 laying hens.

“We had sheep, grew hay and cut chaff.”

Last Wednesday, the popular couple, in their late 80s, celebrated 65 years of wedded bliss. And that it has been.

“Every couple have disagreements, but we’ve never a fight,” Mrs Gratte said.

Mr Gratte said he and his wife often laid awake in bed talking about “how wonderful” life had been to them.

Care for a dance? Stan and Joy Gratte are a picture of health and happiness.
Camera IconCare for a dance? Stan and Joy Gratte are a picture of health and happiness. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

“We’ve had a marvellous time, got a few aches and pains but that’s what you would expect for folk our age and we’re still plugging along,” he added.

“Our health is pretty good and we’re so proud of all our family.

“We joined the Geraldton Historical Society in 1963 and helped establish three museums but we’ve got so much out of it. Glad we did it.”

In The Geraldton Guardian last Friday, an anniversary notice from their children Suzanne, Barry and Murray and their families reiterated this, saying: “We all enjoy your company, the stories and the loving environment at our regular family gatherings. Together, you built the foundations for a loving family that embraces closeness and stability.”

Northam-born Stan and Dongara-born Joy met at a debut ball at the Geraldton Town Hall.

“I was partnered by my brother and Stan was partnering another girl,” Joy said.

“We’ve had a good life together working side by side all the time on the farm.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails