Dunsborough residents celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary

Doug and Katherine Lilburne recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Image supplied.
Doug and Katherine Lilburne recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Image supplied.

Dunsborough residents Doug and Katherine Lilburne recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at a surprise party organised by their children.

The happily married couple now in their 80's had planned on celebrating their anniversary at their favourite restaurant Studio Bistro and were busy getting ready for lunch.

Unbeknownst to them their family were busy ushering guests into the top floor of their home which they share with their daughter.

"Because it was a week day our son Steve and our daughter-in-law Kim, our neighbours and our daughter were just going to Studio Bistro for lunch," she said.

"Steven went to work in the morning, then at 1.15pm I started asking where Steven was, they told us he was upstairs getting ready.

"We walked out of our apartment to hurry him up and Steven was at the front door in his work gear, I'm saying, Steven we are supposed to be at the restaurant in 20 minutes.

"He told us he just had to go into the office upstairs, my daughter said lets go up and see what Kim is doing.

"Of course, we went up and everything was setup, there were balloons and everyone was there. I do not know how they shuffled everyone in, it was planned for months."

Ms Lilburne said they had friends at the party from as far as Perth who they had not seen in many years.

"It was so great," she said.

The couple met after Ms Lilburne moved to WA from the UK, she first lived in Narrogin then moved to Albany. Her sister told her to get in touch with her friend who she could rent a room from.

"That is where I was, number one Albany Highway," she said.

Mr Lilburne had a cousin living in Albany.

When Ms Lilburne returned one Boxing Day after Christmas with her family, the 13-year old daughter of the house came rushing in.

"She said, Katherine, Katherine do your hair and put your lipstick on Aunty Jean's cousin is here and he is gorgeous - and he was - he had the bluest eyes," she said.

Mr Lilburne was on his way to Esperance but he never made it, he stayed in Albany for the remainder of his Christmas holidays before returning to work in Perth.

"We did get there 30 years later," he said.

Ms Lilburne thought it may have just been a holiday romance, but was happy to hear from Mr Lilburne as soon as returned home.

"The next day I got a letter and he wrote just about every day," she said.

"He used to come down to Albany on the long weekends, it was such a long trip," she said.

On a trip to Perth, Mr Lilburne proposed to his wife of 60 years on Cottosloe Beach and it was decided she would move up north.

The secret to their success, the couple said being on the same wavelength and their family.