When Doug Howard asked Joan on a first date back in the 1940's he got an unexpected answer - the busy woman had to bake a cake that night.
Fortunately she made time the following night.
Seventy years, six children, 22 grandchildren and 39 great grandchildren later, the now 90 and 93-year-old Little Forest couple celebrated their 70th anniversary on Wednesday, October 28.
The couple met when Doug was 21 and Joan was 18 when they were both working in the printing industry.
Joan picked up a freshly printed newspaper to read one lunch break when she heard a voice from behind.
"You can read it for a sixpence," Doug said.
"I couldn't believe it. Nobody spoke to me like that," Joan laughed.
After being reassured by another colleague that Doug was actually a nice young man, Joan gave him another chance.
She describes their relationship as going from 'cheekiness to cheek to cheek' and the two were soon engaged.
While it was common for young couple to be engaged for two years, Joan and Doug couldn't wait.
They were married just one year later in St John's Anglican Church in Parramatta.
The couple honeymooned locally at Bungalow Park, never guessing that they would be living in the area 70 years later.
On their first anniversary they rode their first wheels - a tandem bike - back down to Bungalow Park to see a movie at an open air theatre.
They got a flat tyre at Croobyar Creek and eventually hitched a ride back home. Today, they live not far from the property where their beloved tandem bike broke down.
After their wedding in 1950 the couple bought a block of land in Sylvania for 100 pounds.
"We've been truly been blessed through the good and hard times and we've felt comfort and strength always."Joan Howard
It was covered in trees and bush and the couple lived in a tent for six months while Doug began building their first home.
"It was just tiny, with a wee little bathroom and when we moved in it rained the first night and I think the sound of the rain on the tin roof of our own home was just the sweetest sound," Joan said.
The little log cabin saw the arrival of their first daughter, Marty in 1952. Their son Mitchell was born in 1955 and Doug kept adding to the extensions.
With a young family now, the couple had two main indulgences - 'mum's night off' on Friday nights where they would get fish and chips and watch the boats come in, and a subscription to Reader's Digest. That subscription changed the couple's life.
An article titled 'Mormon Church, a complete way of life' resonated so profoundly with Joan that when two days later, a pair of Latter-day Saint missionaries chose her house as the last one they would door knock, she knew it wasn't a coincidence.
The couple joined the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Surrounded by their new community, they welcomed daughter Janey in 1960, Randall in 1962 and Luke in 1965.
With five young children, Joan said the support of their new church family helped them along.
"We had a group of people around us, the Latter-day saints who were so lovely and supporting and caring," she said.
"They reached out to us and included us in their family."
Faith became a big part of the family's life and Doug took on a position as the Bishop of Sutherland Ward.
He later became the Bishop of Parramatta and continued to have prominent roles in the church community.
With the children now in their teens, the couple moved to a bigger home and Joan took on her first formal education since leaving school at 14-years-old.
"I was 50-years-old and a friend of mine was going back to study and encouraged me too," Joan said.
"I said 'don't be silly, I'm 50' but I did and I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of History and Literature."
"I loved it and I could still learn. That was important."
Church related interests, looking after anyone in need, drama productions, music and entertainment kept the couple busy outside of work and Doug turned his creative hand to building a boat named 'Etanche', French for 'unsinkable'.
It's a word that comes to mind to describe the couple's life together.
The couple's children said devotion, loyalty and active love for each other has held them strong.
"Mum and dad have always been on the same page, with the same goals," daughter Janey said.
"I never remember mum and dad arguing, they never a raised voice to each other.
"There's a lot of strength and wisdom there."
Doug and Joan now live in a beautiful cottage on Janey and husband Craig's Little Forest property.
They're nearby for a cup of tea and chat whenever they want.
"I feel fortunate to be with them now and have them so close," Janey said.
"These are the best years and it really shows me what's important and what's not."
Seventy years on, Joan and Doug know how lucky they are.
They have family all over the country and overseas from a range of nationalities.
Their children and grandchildren have all gone on to have large families and their gettogethers resemble an instant party.
Just this week they welcomed another two great granddaughters in Nowra and Albion Park.
"We've been truly been blessed through the good and hard times and we've felt comfort and strength always," Joan said.
While celebrations may be a little quieter this year, Joan and Doug plan to enjoy a celebratory chocolate milkshake at the Beach Hut overlooking Mollymook Beach.