An Australian couple tied the knot this weekend, 60 years after they first got engaged, proving that love never truly dies.
Tom Susans, 87, and Judith Beston, 80, first met in 1957 at a Brisbane-based teachers training college and within two years they became engaged. At the time, however, the marriage was not meant to be. In 1959, Tom started a teaching job in Beaudesert, Queensland while Judith moved back home to Redcliffe, Brisbane with the intention of them getting married and starting their life there. Her family, however, were not supportive of the engagement.
“I thought ‘this is good, I can get married here and Mum can help me a bit’, but at home it was really difficult,” Judith told ABC news.
“Mum didn’t want Tom involved; she thought he was much too old for me.”
Familial pressure turned out to be too much for Judith, causing her to move to New Zealand where she began teaching, got married and raised seven children.
“She just disappeared,” Tom said. “I didn’t know where she was; I couldn’t find her anywhere in Australia. I thought she was dead.”
Tom kept the engagement and wedding rings, placing it in a wooden cabinet for safe keeping, They would remain in this cabinet for 60 years.
Tom also moved on. He eventually moved back to central Queensland, married a fellow teacher, and raised four girls.
Despite moving on, however, Tom never lost hope that he and Judith would be reunited. He would search for her at every one of their University’s reunions, but she never attended them. He gave up, eventually, and stopped seeking her out. He was then surprised to find that she was at the 50 year reunion, and immediately called her.
The pair reunited in 2009 at another reunion, but despite keeping in touch through Christmas cards, their relationship did not progress.
It was only after Tom’s wife passed on, and Judith had been widowed for a long time, that they began to explore their relationship again.
“The chance of us meeting each other and the chances of us picking up where we left off — we seem to be pretty compatible,” said Judith.
In April 2019 the couple met up face-to-face and holidayed together in Queensland. It was here that Tom proposed again.
“When he asked me to marry him, I said yes straightaway,” said Judith. “Normally I have to think about things for a while and sometimes I think about it long enough for it not to happen.”
They finally married in an intimate ceremony in October 2019, where Tom was finally able to place the long-kept wedding ring on Judith’s finger.
“I thought after 60 years, it was about time she had it back — and it fitted,” said Tom.
Picture: ABC News