Forget the bachelorette, Camden has the rights to the love story of the year.
They were teenage sweethearts who met in Camden in 1966 and hadn’t seen each other for 50 years until the stars aligned and they were back in each others arms, this time for good.
After a whirlwind fairytale romance Allison Howlett (nee Hunt) and Paul Woods were married in Cooke Park, Parkes on October 21.
“It was meant to be,” Mr Woods said.
Allison grew up on a farm in Menangle and met Paul when she was in her mid-teens.
“We met through my brother Lindsay,” Mrs Howlett said.
“He was a fitter and machinist and Paul was a boilermaker. They did their apprenticeships together.
“I was in Camden at that stage doing my secondary education.
“Paul had been out at our farm with Lindsay and dad working on trucks and doing boys stuff for ages before I met him.”
They were together for six months before they went their separate ways.
Mrs Howlett’s family had kept in contact with Mr Woods over the years.
“I’d always ask after him,” she said.
“How was he, was he happy, what was he doing over the years?
“Just last year I asked an uncle how he was and what was he doing.”
Mrs Howlett’s uncle suggested she stay an extra night and they invite Mr Woods out for dinner.
“I said ‘no, no, no I’m not going to do that,’” she said.
“If Paul and I were to meet and we did like each other, then that would be okay but I wasn’t going to go looking for him.
“I really wasn’t looking for anybody.”
On April 5 this year Mrs Howlett got up at 4am to drive to Camden for the funeral of a very dear family friend and ran into Paul.
“I didn’t see him at the service or at the cemetery,” she said.
“I was sitting on my own at the wake while my friends were off getting coffee and this guy walked up in front of me and smiled and I smiled and waved.
“He asked if I remembered him,” she said.
“I said ‘no I’m sorry I don’t’ and he said ‘I’m Paul Woods’.
“So I jumped up off the lounge and gave him a hug and a kiss.
“He sat down and chatted with me for a while and within two or so weeks he was in Parkes with me.”
Mr Woods, who had been running his own engineering company for 30 years, had retired just three days before he met Mrs Howlett at the funeral.
After asking her father for Allison’s hand in marriage, Mr Woods proposed to her in front of 200 people at her parents, Robin and Norma Hunt’s, 70th wedding anniversary function at the RSL in Dubbo on May 10.
“He asked dad first for my hand in marriage,” Mrs Howlett said.
“He said yes, my parents are very excited.
“Dad actually wanted us to get married at their anniversary celebrations.”
Mr Hunt, who turns 93 in December, walked his daughter down the aisle at her wedding and happily gave her away to Mr Woods.
Guests travelled from as far away as Canada for the occasion.
They are currently honeymooning on the Gold Coast with six other couples.
“Next year we plan on buying a caravan, driving off into the sunset and living happily ever after,” they said.