When the clock struck midnight nearly 60 years ago, Denis Bautisa met Margaret, his real-life Cinderella.

“I knew the nurses at the local hospital changed shifts at 11 pm and they all walked to the pub after, so us boys would wait around outside for them to finish,” said Denis.

“I was only 22 at the time but I remember looking down at my watch and it was midnight and I saw Margaret walking towards the pub with her friend.”

Denis said he invited Margaret and her friend for a freshwater swim, so they all got into his friend’s Volkswagen and left the pub.

“Margaret and I instantly clicked. I told the girls that we played sports and so did they, so we started to watch each other on the weekends. Margaret made everything fun and carefree,” said Denis.

Denis said his nickname growing up was surfy and Margaret’s was ferret and one of his fondest memories was Margaret coming down to his footy club.

“Everyone I introduced Margaret to loved her and so did I,” said Denis.

“Margaret taught me everything about love and her presence was always a present to anyone she surrounded herself with. She has made me a very happy man over the years.”

Denis and Margaret are celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary this year. Margaret is now living with dementia at Juniper Chrystal Halliday Residential Aged Care Home and their love is like no other.

“In three years, I have only ever missed one week visiting Margaret. I love spending time with her, I love seeing her, and I love how supportive the staff are,” said Denis.

“We sit around, we share meals, we laugh, and I remind Margaret of all our good times. We also enjoy sitting with other couples and sharing a meal. Everyone is so friendly.”

Denis says although he can no longer live with Margaret, he still feels like he is at home whenever he visits her.

“The care here at Chrystal Halliday is beautiful; I can’t fault anything. Knowing my wife is cared for so well is a massive relief. I will always cherish my time with Margaret, and I am already looking forward to seeing her tomorrow,” said Denis.

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