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Grafton Harry and Betty Layton, nee Wenzel, celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary on June 7. Image: Contributed.

Grafton couple celebrate 74th wedding anniversary

Emma Pritchard

When Grafton couple Harry and Betty Layton, nee Wenzel, celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary on June 7, their youngest daughter Kerrie Layton revealed the secret to their long and happy union is “being themselves around each other and knowing when to listen to their partner.”

The couple, who were both born and raised in the Clarence Valley, met at a local dance, married at St Luke’s Church in Grafton, and honeymooned in the beautiful coastal village of Iluka.

Mr Layton previously worked in the Butter Factory in Victoria Street before spending several years working as a butcher in Grafton and Wooli.

He also worked part time as a local ambulance officer in the district.

Mrs Layton worked at the Golden Fleece garage in South Grafton and at Kane’s Corner Store in Grafton, which was previously located on the corner of Prince Street and Bacon Street.

While her husband was working in Wooli, Mrs Layton worked as a cleaner in a local motel and rented holiday units to visiting couples.

The Layton’s have three children, Gail, Greg, and Kerrie, 10 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.

The couple still reside in Grafton, with their unit occupying the same parcel of land Mr Layton was born on.

“Dad was born in Alice Street, so he and Mum are basically living on the same property he was born on, which is lovely,” said their youngest daughter.

“It was my grandparent’s property, so it’s nice to still have a part of it in the family.

“Dad has a larrikin sense of humour and Mum has always been a very kind and caring woman who loves spending time with her family.

“They are wonderful parents, and they raised my brother and sister and I to treat people as we would like to be treated ourselves.”

The Layton’s enjoyed a special anniversary celebration with their loved ones on the weekend and were read all of the wonderful comments many people wrote to the couple on the Clarence Valley Births, Deaths and Marriages Facebook page.

“Mum and Dad are very much loved by us all and we are really grateful that they are in such good health as they are both in their 90’s,” Ms Layton said.

“74 years together is a wonderful celebration.”