'WE MADE IT': Hanna and Neville Johnstone celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on August 30.
'WE MADE IT': Hanna and Neville Johnstone celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on August 30. Jessica McGrath

'WE MADE IT:' Nanango couple reflects on decades of marriage

SIXTY years is a huge achievement for most, but for one Nanango couple their wedding anniversary marked decades of conquering trials.

Nanango residents Hanna and Neville Johnstone celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary together on August 30.

"We made it, we finally made it," Mrs Johnstone said.

The couple has had more than their fair share of accidents over the years.

"He's had a lot of bad things happen, that's why we made it," she said.

The couple had their biggest accident in 1960 when they were driving a timber truck in Victoria, and it overturned and rolled down the embankment.

"It was dark and we thought we were dead," Mrs Johnstone said.

They said it was a miracle to crawl out of the accident and walk away with nothing broken.

The family lost their home in the 1977 floods, and Mr Johnstone was later left on a disability pension after a surgery on his back went wrong.

The couple met in the early 1950s at a dance, after Mrs Johnstone's family had moved to Victoria as refugees from Czechoslovakia.

"They were the first Aussies we met who were nice," she said.

Despite her parent's wishes, Mrs Johnstone was determined to marry an Australian.

She and her sister were invited along to a barn dance in Werribee by Mr Johnstone, and their romance blossomed from then on.

"When I met my husband I thought he was wonderful," she said.

Mr Johnstone said he knew his wife was very special when they first met.

"She was beautiful, and she still is," he said.

"I just wanted to be with her, I was so happy."

They married in Orbost at a Victorian Methodist church in 1958, with a bible as a bouquet as all of the florists were closed on the day.

"It feels like our wedding was only last month," Mrs Johnstone said.

The couple have six children, 18 grandchildren and more than 20 great grandchildren.

The Johnstone family moved to Queensland to escape the cold, and later settled in Nanango in 1989.

"It is love that keeps a person going, and I have faith in God our creator," Mrs Johnstone said.