An eventful Christmas Eve that led to 80 years of marriage
On 17 April, Mr Thomas ‘Tom’ (102) and Mrs Una Wood (101) will celebrate an impressive 80 years of marriage, as they enjoy their seaside lifestyle at Resthaven Port Elliot.
Reflecting on their time together, Tom explains, ‘I lived in Scotland and Una was from England. We both joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) at the beginning of the war [World War II, 1941].’
‘We came across each other in that first year, on an eventful Christmas Eve.’
Una remembers, ‘We had gone on a double date with a girlfriend I knew at the time, and one of Tom’s friends, who wanted to set us up.’
‘There was a major blackout in the town, which made for an interesting first date, and I knew I wasn’t going to let this one go!’
And she never did; ‘It’s hard to believe we have been married 80 years now … we have had many adventures together.’
‘Because of the nature of war, it wasn’t long before we married… you held onto your loved ones a bit closer back then, as you never knew what was going to happen next.’
‘The wedding was held in my village, and despite it being a rush, it was the biggest wedding we ever had at the time!’
After enjoying a short honeymoon in London, Tom returned to the war.
‘I stayed back with my mother, not long finding out I was with child,’ says Una.
The newlyweds would then spend two years apart—Tom serving his duties in the RAF, and Una staying home to raise their first son, Andrew.
When the war ended in 1946, Tom came home for good, and they welcomed their second son, Ian.
‘I went back to work for a while myself, as a secretary in an accounting hall—I was very good at that, and enjoyed the independence.’ says Una.
Tom and Una enjoyed many years living abroad in England, Germany, and Romania, among other places, before settling down in Fullarton, South Australia, where they happily resided for 42 years.
‘We loved that home and were blessed to have stayed for as long as we did, with the weekly support of Resthaven Paradise & Eastern Community Services.’
In July 2022, Tom and Una sold their Fullarton home, and relocated near the seaside at Resthaven Port Elliot.
‘It’s beautiful here, and relaxing. Not a bad place to end up, really!’
When reflecting on their lives together, Tom comments, ‘Una has been a solid wife, we haven’t had many grievances at all—it just works.’
When asked how Una feels about Tom, she smirks, ‘He’s alright – I’ll keep him!’
Happy 80th wedding anniversary, Mr and Mrs Wood!