Love that stands the test of time
“Maybe not the most romantic response, however, for anyone that knows them it’s clear that love-atfirst-sight or not, you would struggle to find another couple that are better suited to one another,” says granddaughter, Mary Perry, who was named after her grandmother. Dating 67 years ago was quite different to the way it’s done today. Described as a very traditional affair, they weren’t allowed to move in with one another before marriage. Peter met Mary at a dance in the Oddfellows Hall, in Waiuku. They danced the night away then towards the end, Peter asked if Mary wanted a ride home, that was after first gaining permission from her brother.
“When it was time for my granddad to pop the question, he asked her dad for permission, with a response that wasn’t quite what he expected. He was told to wait until she turned 21 then her dad would be more obliging to give her hand away,” laughs Mary. On October 29, 1948, they were officially married at St Georges Church in Epsom, as it was half way between the two families. “Most of nana’s relations were in Helensville and his in Waiuku. Then it was off to One Tree Hill for the reception.”
Both spent their early married lives working hard on the farm in Waiuku. Then two to three years later they had a baby boy, then a daughter followed not long after.
Their small family continued to grow with grandchildren and great grandchildren as the years passed by.
After never spending an anniversary apart, this year saw Peter in hospital with a bad back, meaning that it was the first time in 67 years they had spent it apart.
Both are still living in their hometown of Waiuku. “My grandparents are a modest couple, advising that there is no clear cut rule for success in marriage, but communication helps, and an appreciation for the hard work that each partner puts in. Not to mention a glass of whiskey every now and then might help too.”