Working together secret to successful marriage, says Geraldton’s Stan and Joy Gratte on their 70th anniversary

Matthew PaddickGeraldton Guardian
Joy and Stan Gratte have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.
Camera IconJoy and Stan Gratte have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Credit: Matthew Paddick

The ability to work together has been the secret to a successful marriage, according to a Geraldton couple celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary this week.

Stan and Joy Gratte were married on April 17, 1954, at the Geraldton Methodist Church across the road from the yacht club.

Stan and Joy Gratte on their wedding day.
Camera IconStan and Joy Gratte on their wedding day. Credit: Matthew Paddick

After going on their honeymoon, the couple were given a dozen hens and they started a poultry farm.

Those 12 hens turned into 600 across 35 years and Mr Gratte said it was a catalyst that helped their relationship blossom.

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“We always worked together on the farm, we’ve always been together,” he said.

“We’ve hardly been apart for 70 years; we’re getting used to one another.”

The couple celebrated their platinum anniversary on Wednesday.

The pair agreed it hasn’t felt long.

“We’ve had disagreements and different opinions, but no scratches or black eyes,” Mrs Gratte joked.

They met at a debutante ball at Geraldton Town Hall when Mrs Gratte was 18.

“I had another girl at the time, but I had my eye on Joy and I kept it there,” Mr Gratte said.

The couple bought a house on Sixth Street in Wonthella prior to their marriage before moving to their Seventh Street home 60 years ago.

They have been actively involved in the Geraldton community over the years, including joining the historical society. Many of Mr Gratte’s tape recordings of Aboriginal people in the 1960s can be listened to at the Geraldton Regional Library.

The couple on their wedding day.
Camera IconThe couple on their wedding day. Credit: Matthew Paddick

Despite careers in poultry farming, engine driving, writing and being awarded the Medal for the Order of Australia for his historical contributions, Mr Gratte said his proudest achievement was his family.

“We’ve got a marvellous family and we’re very proud of them,” he said.

The couple have three children, seven grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

“We’re pretty damn lucky, really,” Mrs Gratte said.

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