“SHALL I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate”, is a Shakespearean phrase perhaps uttered by lovers in the Hastings to their significant other tomorrow.
Whether you’re a fan or foe of Valentine’s Day, bright balloons, chocolates, roses and sparkling jewellery speckled across shop fronts in our region are in-your-face reminders the celebration of love has arrived once again.
Gorgeous couple Barbara and Richard Muszynski’s love for one another has never faded throughout 62 years of marriage.
The Muszynskis have lived in Port Macquarie for 24 years, after moving from Sydney.
Honesty and never taking a quarrel to bed are keys to a long and happy relationship, the couple agree.
“That’s not to say you never have your differences, but you need to get them out in the open,” Mrs Muszynski said.
Their story is remarkable, both spending their youth in the midst of World War II.
Polish-born Mr Muszynski escaped from a German concentration camp, then ventured to England when the war ended.
Currency was in the form of coupon books at that time and one day, Richard went to a store to buy some clothing.
He found a coupon book on the floor and waited out the front for anyone who seemed to have lost their book.
Two young women walked into the store, one of whom he knew.
“They came out with their faces that long,” Mr Muszynski said.
The other woman just happened to be Mrs Muszynski.
“I said to Barbara, who is now my darling wife, did you lose something dear?” he asked her.
Mr Muszynski pulled out the coupon book and Barbara rejoiced, hugging him in thanks.
“I was holding her and I didn’t want to let her go,” he said.
“I’ve never had that feeling in my life.
“Then the hunt was on.”
He finally got a chance to speak to Barbara and she ended up leaving her boyfriend and going steady with Richard.
Many dates followed and Richard showered his intended with gifts.
During one nightshift at a mine, Barbara visited Richard and she was dressed up.
“I asked her if she was going dancing and she says ‘never you mind’,” Mr Muszynski said.
A colleague later explained to Richard his girl had been asked to enter a beauty contest and had been crowned Carnival Queen after she visited him that night.
“Richard was so excited,” Mrs Muszynski said with a grin.
Ever the romantic, Mr Muszynski spent 12 pounds, which was two week’s wages, on a beautiful gold heart-shaped locket.
Mrs Muszynski still wears this beautiful piece of jewellery today.
The couple will celebrate Valentine’s Day by enjoying a lunch out with friends.