Golden Years Of Edith And Olaf
Sydney Morning Herald
Wednesday June 7, 1989
Most couples today wouldn't dream of attempting wedlock without what are considered the basics: a house, a couple of cars, a microwave oven, a dishwasher - and a large debt to the bank.
But Edith and Olaf Anderson started out together with just a bed and an icebox. Despite this, they will celebrate 50 years of marriage next week.
Even they seem to find it hard to believe. Edith kept clasping the wooden lamp stand and saying: "Yes, if we make it to next week, touch wood,", or"Yes, we might even make 60 years ...touch wood."
Olaf said ironically: "I could have committed a murder, been locked away and come out (of prison) in this time."
The couple raised five children and have spent the last 49 years in their Chatswood home. They have seen many changes.
"Now there are so many more shops to choose from, it's all different,"Edith said. "They used to hold dances in the old Town Hall and Dispensary Hall, where Chatswood Chase is now.
"I guess we miss the dances, but we're getting old now - I get puffed after one round of the floor."
They agreed with the cliche that every good marriage required giving and taking, but added that it also required a sense of humour, a colossal one, in fact.
"You put the last nail in the coffin when you stop laughing," said Edith.
It wasn't always rosy. Edith said the worst part was being left at home for four years with three young children while Olaf fought in New Guinea during World War II.
"He came home on leave, went back and got three stripes - and I got our third child," she said.
After the war, Olaf took up his old job, managing the Moran Cato grocery store in Gordon, and worked there until he retired 16 years ago.
The couple met when Edith's sister married Olaf's brother. "He'd come over and play cards with my mother while I did handiwork," said Edith. "I liked him for three years without saying anything before he took me out."
The couple were married in St Peter's Church, Neutral Bay, when Edith was 22 and Olaf was 25. They now have 10 grandchildren.
They will celebrate the occasion at their daughter's home in Berowra with 30 close friends and relatives on June 17.