A 50-year-old love story continues in aged care

Les and Myrtle Gray
After settling at Chambers Flat later in life, Les and Myrtle found themselves in need of extra care after Myrtle developed memory loss. [Source: Bolton Clarke]

Being married for over five decades hasn’t hindered the love Queensland aged care residents Les and Myrtle Gray, 84 and 81, have for one another.

Les and Myrtle’s love story dates back to the 60s when the two crossed paths and instantly knew they wanted to be with one another after meeting at a Bible College outreach program in Toowong.

The couple were engaged on Christmas Day in 1960 and then Les left to go to the Solomon Islands as a missionary while Myrtle stayed in Australia to finish her nursing studies.

“I came back four and a half years later – that’s when we got married and went back to the Solomon Islands together,” he said.

The couple dedicated their working lives to helping others, travelling extensively together around Australia and overseas as missionaries.

After catching a bad lung infection on a three-year trip to New Guinea in the 80s, Les and Myrtle returned to Australia and moved to the drier Western Australian climate where they worked with local indigenous communities for 12 years.

After settling at Chambers Flat later in life, Les and Myrtle found themselves in need of extra care after Myrtle developed memory loss.

Les said, “It all happened suddenly […] everything came unstuck when Myrtle had a knee replacement.”

“Something went wrong when they used pain relief medicine when she got into the operation, and it took away her memory,” he said. 

As Myrtle’s condition progressed, the couple moved into a double room at Bolton Clarke Carrington where they could continue to live together while receiving residential aged care support.

“I think it has a lot of benefits – we can now continue this part of our lives together,” Les said.

“We have been married for 57 years and never had any problems because we have worked together and supported each other throughout our lives.”

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  1. Myrtle and Les defiantly are a loving couple. Les is often heard encouraging Myrtle to be independent and they do everything together. Les always has a memory to share of his life in the past. If only we all had more time in the day to listen to his stories and memories.

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