The Secret to 70 years of Wedded Bliss


Bill & Vera Inman

Bill & Vera Inman with great-grandson, Hayden

Many of us would think ourselves lucky to reach 70 years of age in good health, let alone be married for that long.
Bill and Vera Inman of Ellenbrook however, have managed to achieve exactly that incredible milestone.
There have been many times in the last year when this celebration appeared unlikely to take place.
Bill, now aged 89, had a fall whilst holidaying in Busselton last year and suffered multiple facial fractures and suspected nerve damage that necessitated an emergency flight up to Royal Perth Hospital.
The youngest of Bill and Vera’s four children, Tony, who also celebrated his 50th birthday this year, said he was horrified at the extent of his father’s injuries.
“When I went to the hospital I could barely recognise Dad, the bruising and swelling was so severe, and the doctors didn’t think he’d pull through.” said Mr Inman.
“Before the accident, Dad was still independent, driving to the shops, the bank and all their medical appointments.”


Flight-Sergeant Bill Inman

Flight-Sergeant Bill Inman

“It’s amazing to think that he survived all the bombings in Malta during the War, but a simple fall could have such dramatic consequences.”
Tony Inman went on to explain that his father, who hails from Manchester, joined the Royal Air Force at the age of fifteen and after serving his apprenticeship as a fitter, he married his sweetheart, Vera Wheeler from Chester.
Their romance was interrupted by the Second World War though and Bill was soon posted to serve in Malta as an engineer, fixing the fighter aircraft, the Hurricanes and Spitfires.
By nineteen, he was an Acting Flight Sergeant, who survived near starvation, polio and meningitis.
“When he was taken really ill in Malta, my mother received a telegram back in England, where she was surviving on ration coupons and working in a munitions factory.” said Tony.
Vera only read as far as “We regret to inform you…” when she fainted in front of the alarmed message dispatcher.
Luckily, the message merely explained that Bill was on the seriously ill list, but fortunately he recovered and continued the fight.



The Inman Family c1963 & 2011

“Dad used to tell us as children, that we had to eat all of our dinner, because he had been so hungry on Malta that they used to crack open the biscuits and wait for the weevils to crawl out, so he and his mates could eat the biscuits instead.”
The food shortage in Malta owing to the interception of the convoys of supply ships was nothing compared with the relentless bombing runs of the German and Italian air forces.
On one occasion, young Bill Inman was walking along the side of the airstrip when he stopped to talk with a colleague, who was working up a telegraph pole. A bomb landed right where Bill would have been, had he not stopped for a friendly chat.
On another day, when the workload of trying to repair the British fighter aircraft as fast as they were being damaged, led to a need for the engineers to work twelve hour rotational shifts, a bomb landed on the Sergeant’s barracks and destroyed, among other things, the bed on which Bill would have been sleeping, had he been off duty.

The ‘Siege of Malta’ was later declared to be a crucial factor in the Allies. eventual triumph in the War, and the island itself was awarded the George Cross for the courage and determination of the whole community.
Between 1940 and 1943, the beleaguered island endured 3,340 air raids.
Bill participated in the Italian campaign and in Egypt before the war finally ended.
He and Vera, with sons Peter and Geoffrey were posted to Aden after the hostilities, where they had a third baby, Michael. The infant unfortunately was diagnosed with a heart complaint so the family rushed back to England for treatment, but alas, he died, aged only six months.
Bill left the RAF and the family moved to settle in the charming British Channel island of Jersey, and Bill continued with his love of aviation as an engineer with British Airways, in a career that spanned 26 years.
At the same time, Bill and Vera also ran their own hotel businesses in Jersey, before emigrating to retire in Perth and join Geoff and his family.


Most of Inman family

Most of the Inman family 2011

The couple had two other children, Cheryl and Antony, who were brought up in the family hotel environment and who both later worked in hospitality, with Tony running his own Perth-based backpackers hostel business for 14 years. Peter was the only son to remain in the U.K.
The family maintained that aviation link, as Peter became a pilot, Cheryl was an air hostess and Tony also gained his pilot’s licence. Peter’s son, Andrew is a Royal Air Force helicopter flying instructor.
Vera, now 92, still lives in their ‘Pines Village’ retirement home, while Bill has now had to move into the nursing home nearby for extra care, though he comes home to visit, and the couple live only a 2 minute walk away from each other.


Congrats from the Queen

Congrats from the Queen

Now with four children, thirteen grand-children and twelve great grand-children, Bill and Vera have been honoured with messages from HRH the Queen, the Lieutenant-Governor, the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition as well as many local politicians.
Vera’s secret for success: “In all our years together, we vowed never to go to sleep on an argument. We always talked it through.”
The above story was a family media release from Tony Inman.

About Tony Inman

If you are looking for a coach, mentor or consultant to help you strategise the way you want your life to be and to build your business or develop your career to achieve that vision, then Tony Inman is the man to call.
With over 34 years management experience in numerous companies in Europe and Australia, including many of his own businesses, Tony has coached thousands of staff and hundreds of business owners and executives to set new goals, overcome obstacles or limiting beliefs and create and achieve new dreams.
Today Tony is a published author and presenter on the topics of personal and business growth. He is an incorrigible entrepreneur as well as a business and lifestyle coach, consultant and mentor.

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