AFTER a lifetime of love a Palmwoods couple have had to celebrate their 76th wedding anniversary with a romantic dinner through a window due to being separated amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Harry and Dorothy Clewett live separately. Harry in care at Nambour's Estia Health and Dorothy still in their Palmwoods home. They were unable to celebrate in the same room, but instead enjoyed a COVID-19 safe dinner.
With help from Estia Health, Harry, 100, was set up in a room looking out at Dorothy, 94, who enjoyed her dinner outside.
Dorothy said the pair, who were married in Paramatta's Presbyterian Church on May 13, 1944 had a simple love story.
"I met him when I was 14 and I was attracted then at a very early age," she said.
"A close friend of mine had married his brother and we were in contact quite often and it just grew and then the war sped up our companionship."
Harry and Dorothy's wedding was brought forward to take place during Harry's fortnight of pre-embarkation leave during WWII.
"When he came home on leave, it was a week of getting ready and a week of honeymoon and it was before he was to go overseas, which luckily he never did," Dorothy said.
Harry was taken off an ill-fated ship because of paperwork errors and avoided another overseas call on the last day of WWII.
After the war, the couple started their life together by building a house on a NSW orchard, where they grew oranges and three varieties of mandarins for 40 years.
"Building our own house and creating a living on our land was a highlight of our time together," she said.
"Fruit picking time was always a pleasant time because you were reaping the rewards of your years' labour."
After having four children (three boys and a girl) Harry and Dorothy moved to the Sunshine Coast where they became members at Buderim's lapidary club.
"We made a lot of friends and we went fossicking throughout Queensland," Dorothy said.
"We spent many good years doing that, we weren't just interested in finding minerals and gems, but we enjoyed the bush and the travel and everything that goes with it."
The Palmwoods resident said she loved her seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
"It's been wonderful to watch my grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow up" she said.
"They just took long in producing them. We had to wait awhile to get our first great-grandchild, but they are here now and that's great," she said.
Dorothy, who regularly visits her husband, said she was still looking forward to spending the rest of her life with Harry.
"We've been patient, caring and loving and we have been lucky to have good health on our side until the years caught up with Harry and they are catching up with me now, but the remaining years are still quite good," she said.