DENNIS and Beth Tysoe's 50 year love affair is something out of a Nicholas Sparks novel.
On December 16, they were joined by family and friends to celebrate their golden anniversary.
After losing a ring Dennis had given her years before, Beth was sure not to let her husband know on the day.
However, Dennis managed to surprise Beth with not just her beloved ring but a brand new gold ruby ring that he had sized with her other.
The pair were only teenagers when in 1964, they met at a Rockhampton show through their friends who were currently dating.
"She had everything going for her, as soon as we met we knew that was it and once we started going together it flourished from there,” Dennis said.
Although they were both enamoured by each other right away, the young love-birds took it "slow and steady”, and courted for four or five months before Beth's father even allowed her to ride in Dennis' car.
"He was a bit of a gentleman,” Beth said.
"His brothers and mates would ask him if he had kissed me yet and he would say no... it was true.”
The pair dated for around four years before they got engaged.
It was a hot, humid day when the pair tied the knot at Wandal and they were the very first couple to sign in front of a congregation at St Luke's church.
Beth was working for a local newsagency before moving on to AFS dispensary in East St, and Dennis, after starting out at West Rocky Hardware then began driving backhoes with Capricorn Quarries and later in Nerimbera in the late '60s and early '70s.
Beth would sit for hours in the car embroidering whilst Dennis worked, something she deemed "boring” but she willing to do to support the man she loved.
After renting a couple of houses in Rockhampton, they then moved to Emu Park, where they went into the backhoe, quarrying and machinery business together in 1972.
The couple moved to a home at Keppel Sands Rd and have been there for the past 37 years.
Living together was one thing, but working together every day tested the couple.
"Tempers fray, people get tired but at the end of the day the person you hop into bed with has got to be calm and collected otherwise you'll be boxing all night,” Beth said.
"My grandparents used to say 'never go to sleep on an argument'... you've got to finish the problem before you go to sleep because it will only eat at you.”
Despite the ups and downs, they found working together only made them stronger.
"You've got to have a sense of humour, patience and bounce off each other otherwise it won't work,” Dennis said.
"You've got to work together... especially in business.”
The couple had three sons together, Richard, Jason and Shane, seven grandchildren and three great children.
Their patience with life has only flourished and they found working extra jobs at the meat works, on the property or Dennis working away from home and on weekends helped them value what they had.
"That's the only way you get ahead,” Dennis said of their years of hard work.
"Nothing's given to you on a silver platter.”
Dennis stills spends his time tinkering with mechanics and doing what he can around their property.
Beth has also enjoyed many years of taking care of her grandchildren, and the pair both believe family is the most important thing.
"One of the boys always rings Beth or me every day... communication is important. Keep in touch,” Dennis said.
The loved-up couple have some words of advice for young couples, including that of mutual respect.
"Some young men these days don't have respect for themselves, so they have no respect for women and the women know it... they're waiting for them to smarten up,” Dennis said.
"[And] women are more independent... choosing career over family.”
Beth said proudly that Dennis always presented himself in a "smart” way, especially when meeting her parents.
"I'm glad I got my fella when I did.”
To Dennis, the hard times are crucial for building a lifelong union.
"When you say better or worse, you take it for better or worse,” he said.
"A lot of these young ones can't handle the worst.”
After 50 years together, the couple are still taking each day as it comes.
When it comes to life's sweeter things, they urge others to take the time to slow down and enjoy it.
"Don't be such a hurry, take your time,” Beth said.
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