After 70 years, John only has eyes for Elsa
JOHN and Elsa Sganzerla are living proof that hand holding is not confined to young love.
The couple, who are often spotted hand-in-hand in their hometown of Babinda, will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary with friends and family today.
Mr Sganzerla, known as "Papa John" to many locals, jokes a "man needs a medal" for staying married so long but it is clear he knew there was only one woman for him after he spotted his future wife walking past his workplace in the town during World War II.
"I've still got her. I've never looked at anyone else," the 93-year-old said.
Their first date was at a carnival where they drove dodgem cars together, and after collecting enough war-time coupons for catering and material for a wedding dress, they married on January 5, 1943.
Since then, they have had three children, who have given them seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Mrs Sganzerla, 91, said there was no single secret to a long and happy marriage.
"We lived a normal, quiet life," she said.
"We've never been on a holiday just one of us. It's been a happy marriage right through. I couldn't wish for anything better."
Mr Sganzerla said the key was to "behave", and the pair, who both migrated to Australia from Italy as children, never argued.
Mrs Sganzerla still makes her husband his pumpkin gnocchi every Sunday at their family home, which they have lived in for more than 60 years.
They retired about 20 years ago, passing on their mechanic business and farm to their sons Paul and David to run.
Daughter Denise Irwin also lives in Babinda and said her parents' love was inspirational.
"They are still like a couple of lovebirds after all these years," she said.
Granddaughter Bronya Ghidella said the pair "do everything together".
"They still hold hands," she said.
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Devoted: John and Elsa Sganzerla of Babinda are in love now as much as their wedding day 70 years ago. Picture: STEWART McLEAN
Big day: John and Elsa Sganzerla's wedding day 70 years ago.