TRUE LOVE can stand the test of time as Mark and Freda Terakes proved yesterday when they celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary.
The well-known Lismore Heights couple met in 1944 when they were both drivers for the Australian Army, and Mark said the attraction was instant.
"All the people at the army camp were telling me about Freddie the buckjump rider," he said.
"Then when I met her, for me it was love at first sight."
After that life-changing sighting, Mark was determined to go out with Freda, who was two years older than him.
Now 89, Mark lovingly recalled the couple's first date on September 3, 1944, at the New World Cafe on Brisbane's Queen St.
"I told her when I was 21, in the cafe that night, that we were going to get married."
Mark said he got his wish in 1945, eight days after his 21st birthday when he married his true love.
"Freda has always been just everything to me."
Within a year of getting married, Freda gave birth to the couple's first child, Michael, followed two years later by the birth of their daughter Maria.
In 1947, the Terakes moved to Lismore and Mark started work in the family fruit shop, the iconic Sergeants Markets on Keen St, now the site of Camera House.
"I only spent 41 years in that shop," Mark joked.
During that time Freda, who was a keen gardener, also used to clean houses around Lismore and even found time to paint the entire inside and outside of a house she cleaned.
"We have had a good, happy life in Lismore.
"We are very lucky to have our grandson and his wife and our two great-grandchildren next door."
Yesterday, still very much in love, the couple enjoyed a Chinese meal to celebrate their anniversary.
"The first 50 years is the hardest," joked Freda.