Moving into their brand-new home at Amber by Living Gems was a day David and Andrea McNabb will remember always, not only because it marked an exciting new chapter in their lives but also because the timing could not have been more perfect.
“We moved in on 4 September, 41 years to the day of our wedding. Not only that but we also signed the contract at 11am, which was the actual time we were married. It was pretty iconic,” said David.
Realising settlement on their new home was imminent, the couple had celebrated their anniversary the week before during a ten-day trip to Caloundra, which is where they had spent their honeymoon all those years ago.
Their love story is one for the romantics of the world and those who believe in fate.
“Fate certainly played a part in us meeting,” said Andrea. “David was on the second last day of his holidays in Australia from Northern Ireland in 1980 when we met. There was an instant attraction, but he had to leave because he had a business back home. However, that wasn’t the end of the story but rather the beginning.
“It was my birthday the day after he left and to my surprise, I received a birthday card from him in the mail. Then we started writing to each other and making the occasional phone call – it was expensive back then to make overseas calls, something like $2 a minute.”
David and Andrea exchanged letters continuously for about eight months before Andrea made the adventurous decision to travel to Northern Ireland to see if their relationship would go anywhere.
“I asked her to marry me about six months later and she said `yes’,” said David.
Andrea, who was only 20 at the time, said Ireland was a very romantic place to be courted and the proposal remains vivid in her mind.
“David took me to picturesque Portglenone Forest, which is set on 26 hectares of land that contains extensive colonies of ancient woodland flower species including bluebells which, in spring, are simply spectacular. It took my breath away.
“He proposed to me as we sat on a seat at the edge of the river, and then took me for a special meal at a beautiful restaurant. Everything was just perfect!”
The couple married in Australia and the wedding party included a best man and bridesmaid from Ireland.
During their years together, David and Andrea raised two daughters and one is now married with four boys of her own.
Their wedding anniversary has always been a special day on their calendar and celebrations often involve enjoying a romantic restaurant dinner with a surprise outing.
“I remember one anniversary when David planned the whole day and took me to places that had meant a lot to me in the past like the home I grew up in at Geebung, our first flat, the church we were married in, my old school, and then Caloundra for a walk down memory lane. It was very special!” said Andrea.
On their 25th anniversary, it was Andrea who surprised David with a radio-controlled plane, which kicked off a fun hobby that he still enjoys today.
After 41 years, the romance continues.
David says he loves Andrea’s soft heart, gentle personality and spontaneity while she glowingly reveals that her spouse is like a rock, has great integrity, is reliable and someone who gives her security.
“He has a few Irish jokes up his sleeve too and I’ve heard them all, but we share a great sense of humour, enjoy the same music and like doing things together. And, just in case you were wondering, the romance is still very much alive!”