When love collides

Diamonds: Frank and Claire Reed have recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Photo: Glenys Quick.
Diamonds: Frank and Claire Reed have recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Photo: Glenys Quick.

When Frank Reed was bumped into by Claire Atkinson in England at the Speedy Prompt Delivery Service in 1959, he knew she was the girl for him.

The couple have just celebrated their Diamond (60th) wedding anniversary after spending the past six decades raising a family and travelling around Australia and overseas together.

They were married on January 23, 1960 in Kendal Parish Church of England and then migrated to Australia in May 1961, aboard 'Fairsea' arriving in Adelaide on June 10 with their first baby, a son, Paul.

Mr Reed said he was with his brother Roger at the time of the accidental meeting with Claire when he decided she was the girl for him.

"So one could say, 'love ran and bowled me over at first sight and our fate was sealed', we have been soul mates ever since," Mr Reed said.

Mrs Reed said she was only running because it was wet outside.

Upon arriving in Australia they bought a house and settled into life in Elizabeth Downs. They welcomed two more sons, Daniel in 1961 and Lance in 1966.

Frank had various occupations as a qualified cobbler at Kay's Shoes, a labourer for the commonwealth works department and eventually studied to become a civil works engineer supervisor for 19 years.

The family moved to Woomera where Mr Reed was Works Supervisor DSDW (Defense Support Centre Woomera) before retiring in '98.

Mrs Reed worked as an SSO at the South Downs Primary School for 15 years before being transferred to the Gepps Cross Primary and then Woomera Area Primary Schools.

At the time of retiring, the couple decided to call Saddleworth home and have been there since 2001, immersing themselves within the community; Meals on Wheels delivery drivers, Lions Club, RSL and more.

The family enjoyed camping with many trips around Australia, back to England a few times as well as prospecting for gold at Kingoonya and opal at Andamooka.

The couple said their happy marriage was based on letting one another have their say, respect the opinions then get on with it. Mr Reed said it was important to never go to bed on a disagreement even if it is over your favorite football team.

With Valentine's Day just a couple of sleeps away, Mr Reed said while Mrs Reed didn't like diamonds, she chose a ruby and diamond ring for their anniversary on this special year.

The couple have always celebrated Valentine's Day with their loved ones as a family day.

As part of the 60 years, the couple received a message from the Queen, governor general his Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC.DSC (retd) and wife, Prime Minister Hon Scott Morrison MP and wife, Rowan Ramsey MP and personnel friend Nick Champion MP.