50 YEARS ON: Bob and Keryl on their wedding day on October 11, 1969.
50 YEARS ON: Bob and Keryl on their wedding day on October 11, 1969. Keryl Harvey

Broken leg fails to stymie 50 years of marriage

A BROKEN leg in in 1969 had Bob Harvey thinking he might have had to marry his fiancee in a plaster cast.

When Robert Charles Harvey broke his leg playing football there was a race against time to get the cast off before he married his wife-to-be Keryl Anne Nugent.

"It looked like I might have to get married with a plaster on my leg. It was looking like I was going to have paint it black," he said.

"But we got married on the Saturday and I got the plaster cut off on the Friday. It was a relief.

Now celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, Bob and Keryl met through her cousin who worked with Bob at the old Gerard and Co. supermarket and department store in Grafton.

"Gerard's got hold of me because I knew all about small goods and got me to run the delicatessen there," he said.

They were married at St Mary's Catholic church on October 11, 1969 celebrating with family and friends and the three tiered wedding cake was baked by Keryl's' Aunt, Patricia Howard.

Keryl's Matron of Honour was Mrs Margaret Gill of Casino, her bridesmaid Miss Jeanette Lehn of Grafton and junior bridesmaid, Miss Robyn Smith of Coffs Harbour.

Bob's bets man was Mr Richard Howard and his groomsman was Mr. John Withycomb.

After a reception at the South Grafton Ex-Servicemen's Club, the newlyweds spent their honeymoon in the Snowy Mountains and Canberra before settling into their new home on Armidale street, South Grafton.

Three years later they moved to an acreage just outside town where they still reside to this day.

The couple said they would be having a low key dinner with family and a few friends but Keryl said because "it only happens once", they sent their story into Milestones.

"It was in the paper at the time of the wedding and now it is in again fifty years later," she said.

The couple had hardly changed since that day in 1969 and Bob's beard is almost exactly the same, something he had since he was 16.

"When I came back out of National service I grew it again and never shaved it off."

It has been around that long their three sons and two grandchildren have never seen him without it and Bob said he once showed them a photo of him clean shaven and "I said 'who is that?' and they didn't have a clue."

And what does Keryl think of it all these years later?

"I prefer it," she said.

"I used to worry when I was younger, thinking what's he going to look like when it goes white, I didn't know if I would like it but I do."