On Thursday March 14, Col and Leonie Fitzgerald will be celebrating 55 years of marriage.
Leonie Lavender was born and raised in Bellingen, but left as a young woman and went to Sydney.
There she met Colin Fitzgerald, a meat inspector.
They were married in Bellingen’s Presbyterian Church on March 14, 1964 and travelled extensively with work at various meatworks throughout NSW, ending up at Gosford Meatworks.
Later they became taxi proprietors, then sold the business and moved to Bellingen in 1976, where they bought and ran a dairy farm.
To clean the property up, they added 250 goats along with black sheep, and subsequently bred Belted Galloway Cattle.
Leonie ran a dress shop called Chloe's Boutique for three years, sold that and established Bellingen Boarding Kennels, which the couple ran successfully for 22 years.
It was during this time Colin was appointed as Fire Control Officer for Bellingen Shire Council.
Col and Leonie have travelled extensively, visiting 62 countries, some several times.
They have a son Scott and granddaughter Dana.
When asked how they have stayed together for 55 years, they said the success could be put down to being too busy to separate (along with expense of who gets the dog).