By Bev Jordan
Valentine’s Day has always been a very special day for Frank and Margaret Nanninga who were married at Windsor on February 14, 1970.
The couple met at a dance at Parramatta Town Hall organised by a Dutch Social group.
Frank was 20 when he migrated from Holland after spending 4 years in the Dutch Navy following school.
He said his father urged him to travel when he left the service.
“When I was about 4 years old my dad and his cousin decided to go to New Zealand. We were on the boat waiting to go when my father changed his mind.”
‘I had a choice of Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa and I picked Australia, six weeks later I was off.”
He flew over in 1965.
“I couldn’t even speak English when I arrived here,” he said.
After working in Melbourne for several years he arrived in Sydney and met Margaret in May 1968.
“When I saw her walking on the dance floor I thought ’that’s it’.
“We were engaged on Christmas Eve.”
Margret was at the dance with a group of friends.
Her parents migrated to Australia when she was 10. The boat trip was 6 weeks.
The couple discovered they grew up in the region of Groningen Province not far from each other.
Both are amazed they ended up at the same dance.
Margaret said: One of my friends said why don’t we go to this Dutch dance.
Her parents were keen that the couple wait to marry as they were so young and Valentine’s Day 1970 they did.
“My parents lived in Pitt Town and we were married at St Matthew’s, Windsor,” said Margaret.
The couple have three children, Marcel Troy and Kylie, and four grandchildren, Tayah, Liam, Rhys and Natalie.
The couple worked at the Royal Hotel in Richmond in the 80s and lived at Agnes Banks for 36 years.
They moved to Riverside Gardens at North Richmond towards the end of last year.
“We are really happy we came here,” said Margaret.
When you ask what the key to a successful partnership 76-year-old Frank says: “Being honest with each other.”
Both believe that good communication and lots of laughs are very important.
“We love one another heaps,” said Margaret, 75.