Watch: ABC News’ Josh Bornstein’s interview with former Australian prime minister John Howard’s wife, Christine, in 2000
Posted December 18, 2020 08:18:48In 2000, Christine Howard was a young woman on her way to her first marriage.
But that wasn’t the last time she’d experienced the joys of her first love.
The couple’s relationship had been on hold for decades, with Christine Howard, who had recently lost her maiden name, Christine to cancer, being treated at home.
But in the early days of their relationship, Christine was determined to marry John Howard, an Australian political figure with strong ties to the Howard Government.
The newlyweds were married on September 1, 2000, at the Melbourne International Airport, on a private yacht, but Christine was concerned that her husband was not prepared to share her life.
“It was really hard because he wanted to make sure I was comfortable and he was very conscious of how I look and that I’m a young, attractive woman and that he felt he had to be strong,” Christine Howard told ABC Radio Melbourne’s Q&A program.
She said her husband took his own time getting to know her and their daughter, and she was always there for him.
“He had this really strong sense of humour and really strong ideas about what I was going to be,” Christine said.
“I didn’t want to give him the wrong impression, and he would just look at me like I was crazy, like I had no idea what I wanted to do.”
Christine Howard said her marriage had lasted three years.
“We have a very loving, long-term relationship,” she said.
Christine was able to share with her husband how she loved being married to him and how she felt about his role as prime minister.
“One of the first things that John did for me was to go to his house, and to spend the day with me and the two of us and just spend a day in his house,” Christine told Q&Ads in 2000.
“There was something really nice about that, and I just loved that.”
But Christine and John Howard were not alone in their struggles with cancer.
In the decades since Christine’s death, she has spoken out about how much she wished her husband had listened to her and the other sufferers.
In 1999, Christine published her memoir, My Story, which documented her journey through the years of her illness.
The memoir was an emotional and inspirational read.
The story of Christine Howard is told through her son John, who wrote the foreword.
“This book is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and that the human condition is a wonderful gift, and no matter how much adversity we encounter, we are still here and we are never going to stop fighting,” John wrote in the forewords.
“That was my dad’s story, and it’s my story, too.
I hope it inspires other people to fight.”
Topics:family-and-children,people,health,health-policy,cancer,health—and-medical-research,healthcare-facilities,mental-health,melbourne-3000More stories from Victoria