Muriel and Victor Humphrey celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary.
Muriel and Victor Humphrey celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary. Darryn Smith

Seven is the magic number

HE KNEW her for about seven minutes when he decided he wanted to marry her.

He knew her for 75 days when he actually did marry her, and last week Victor Humphrey celebrated 72 years of marriage with her.

Victor met Muriel at a dance in Taunton in England in 1940 and fell in love the moment he took her in his arms and whirled her around the dance floor.

A couple of months later, Victor surprised Muriel with all the formal arrangements in place for a wedding that day, whisked her into a registry office, called two strangers in from the street as witnesses, made his vows and then took everyone out to dinner.

"I didn't even know the names of the blokes I called in (to witness) but I gave them a big dinner and sent them off," Mr Humphrey said from Carramar Nursing Home in Tewantin, where he celebrated his long and happy marriage to Muriel with family members over a morning tea.

As Muriel was a trainee nurse at the time of their wedding and had not received permission from the matron for leave, she had to return to the nursing quarters after the wedding while Victor went back to work.

Muriel was 19 when they married, Victor 24, and although it was a rushed wedding, Victor is adamant the hurry was due to nothing more than deep love.

"She wasn't pregnant," he laughed.

Ask them what they think of so many marriages ending in divorce today and Victor almost shouts.

"I don't think people have the guts today. It takes willpower and all the strength you have to keep a marriage going and to look after a family."

Muriel believes it is respect that keeps a marriage alive.

"If you don't have respect for each other you have nothing," she said.

Muriel and Victor have two daughters, twin sons, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and hope to spend quite a few more happy years together at Carramar Nursing Home, despite the cigarettes in Victor's top pocket.

"I've been smoking for 84 years," he said.

"I think I'd die if I stopped."

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