From the Newsroom

Celebrating 70 years of love and laughter

Emma Pritchard


As they proudly celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this week, the endearing love Clarence Valley residents Doug and Heather Dewberry (nee Sinclair), have for one another remains as strong as ever.

The couple, aged 93 and 91 respectively, were born and raised in the Northern Rivers region, and were introduced to each other through a mutual friend while Mr Dewberry was working as a fireman at the Casino Fire Station, and Miss Sinclair was working as a nurse.

Clarence Valley couple Doug and Heather Dewberry, nee Sinclair, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on July 4. Image: contributed

Love quickly blossomed, and after spending several dates together which often included travelling to the picture theatre in Byron Bay, the couple married at the Casino Methodist Church on July 4, 1953.

After welcoming three children, daughters Yvonne and Jeanette, and son Graham, the Dewberry’s travelled between Sydney, Grafton, Lismore and Casino, as Mr Dewberry continued working as a fireman while his wife cared for their growing family.

In the late 1960s the Dewberry’s relocated to the Clarence Valley when Mr Dewberry was transferred to the Grafton Fire Station as their new Station Officer, a position he held for more than 12 years.

During his time in Grafton, he attended the scene of one of the worst fires to occur in the region when the historic grandstand at the Grafton Racecourse burned to the ground in 1970.

Following Mr Dewberry’s retirement in 1998, he and his wife travelled around Australia on numerous occasions in their caravan.

Today, the couple reside in Junction Hill, and Mr Dewberry is the primary caregiver for his wife.

They also receive daily visits from their youngest daughter Jeanette who lives nearby.

“It’s wonderful for Mum and Dad to celebrate 70 years together,” she said proudly.

“They have received letters from King Charles III and Queen Camilla, the Governor General, and the Prime Minister, as well as local dignitaries.

“Dad does everything for Mum.

“He cooks, he does all of the shopping, he still gets out in the garden, and he does all the cleaning too.

“When he was working as a fireman, everyone used to tell him he had the cleanest fire station in the state.

“Mum has always been a bit of a homebody, whereas Dad has always loved sports of every kind, and he enjoys watching a lot of them on TV.

“It’s a privilege to celebrate their special day with them.”

The Dewberry’s celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with their children and partners during a special lunch at the Crown Hotel in Grafton on Tuesday.  

They also received well wishes from their nine grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.