Australia’s oldest couple celebrate 80 years of marriage.


Speed Dating marriage
Australia's longest marriage.

It is official, Ronald and Esther Collings are in The Australian Book Of Records for the longest marriage.

As a teenager, Mr Collings worked at the local movie theatre, Hoyts Ozone cinema in Enfield, just 8km north of the Adelaide CBD. The two often met up there when they were first dating. Ronald, a chocolate boy back then, had the task of walking around and selling treats to patrons in their seats whilst they enjoyed the movie.

Mr Collings, the youngest of six children, grew up to be a travelling salesman for an Adelaide souvenir company.  Mrs Collings was born in Broken Hill and was a dressmaker who even made her own wedding dress as well as her bridesmaids’ outfits.  She also worked at Myer in the children’s department, a yoga teacher and then spent 15 years volunteering for the disabled.

Together they have one daughter and two sons, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, ­scattered across different parts of Australia.

Mrs Collings said marriage was "all about compromise”. “Like most people we’ve had our ups and downs, but these days people are just too quick to throw in the towel” she said.

With hands cupped, Ron smiles to add, “Back then when people got married, they married for life, they didn’t give up so easy,”


Speed Dating wedding
Ron and Esther on their wedding day, October 19, 1938.