Sunrise’s David ‘Kochie’ Koch was just 21 when his eyes met ‘across a crowded room’ with Libby, now his wife and mother to his four children.
‘Lib smiled at me and her smile seemed to glisten,’ he says, adding with a laugh, ‘It wasn’t until I got closer to her that I realised she had braces on her teeth and it was the disco ball reflecting off the braces!
‘But for me,’ he adds seriously, ‘It was definitely love at first sight. Lib was a 20-year-old nurse. Our friend Judy decided to have a party, and that’s where we met back in 1977.’
For Libby, too, there was an instant attraction.
‘I was very interested in this tall, dark and handsome fellow,’ she recalls. ‘We started dating, and it wasn’t too long after that when we realised it was something serious.
‘I could tell that David was someone special. He was exciting to be around because he had these great dreams and visions, and I could see that it was going to be a very adventurous partnership.’
Adds Kochie: ‘We always had so much in common. We have a similar sense of humour and we’re both family-oriented, having come from very close families. We have a sense of adventure through travel, and we’ve always liked the same things and been passionate about them.
Seven months later, the young couple were engaged, tying the knot at a church in Sydney on January 20, 1979.
‘It was such a hot day,’ says Kochie, ‘that the groomsmen had underarm sweat marks through their jackets! It was one of the funniest times we’ve had.’
Recalls Libby: ‘It was a blistering hot day, but it was beautiful. We had the best time. We just danced and danced and had so much fun.’
Almost 40 years on, Libby, 61, and Kochie, 62, remain happily by each other’s sides, both in their professional and personal lives.
‘Libby is the world’s best mother, the best nurturer and carer,’ Kochie says.
‘We half jokingly in the family refer to Lib as a friend of the forlorn, because if anyone is in strife or doing it tough, Lib will always go and help them. It’s been a wonderful trait to pass down to our kids.'
That’s not to say, though, that Libby and Kochie have always seen eye-to-eye on everything.
‘We are both very loud and opinionated, and we do have quite a fiery relationship,’ says Kochie. ‘But I could never do without her. We just love being with each other.’
Libby and Kochie certainly have been there for each other through life’s ups and downs.
‘David’s always had two or three jobs,’ says Libby. ‘There were tough moments when we were struggling to keep staff on through bad economic times, 15 or so years ago, and the stresses can flow over into a relationship.
‘But we always knew that we had made a vow to stick together and we’re so pleased, because now we have such a fantastic time. It makes us really upset when we hear of some people chucking in their marriages so readily.
‘You just need to think it through and remember why you fell in love in the first place. Then you will hopefully come back around to that.’
And David couldn’t agree more.
‘Every stage of life has its massive challenges,’ he says, ‘But also its joys, and you just have to focus on the joys.