T he world has changed dramatically since 1950 — we’ve been to the moon, computers have shrunk from the size of a room to the size of a watch — but a Wanaka couple has seen it all while staying in wedded bliss.
Celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary this year are Maurice and Marjorie Duckmanton.
Mrs Duckmanton (nee Reynolds) turned 90 this year and Mr Duckmanton turned 92, but their story began as teenagers in Christchurch, Mrs Duckmanton said.
‘‘I was probably 15 . . .we used to wave to each other on the way home from high school,’’ she said.
Mrs Duckmanton attended Avonside Girls’ High School, and Mr Duckmanton was at Christchurch Boys’ High School.
‘‘Friends of Maurice’s introduced us at a bible class social,’’ she said.
The pair began socialising at events, including Saturday night dances — ‘‘he was a good dancer’’.
Mr Duckmanton was involved in swimming and surf life-saving and Mrs Duckmanton ‘‘just used to go and watch’’.
Mr Duckmanton joked her hobby ‘‘was chasing me’’.
There wasn’t a proposal as such, instead it was a mutual agreement — ‘‘we just made our minds up and that was it’’, Mr Duckmanton said.
The wedding took place on July 1, 1950, at St Saviour’s Church in Sydenham.
‘‘After living with my mother for a while we built a house at the foot of Huntsbury Hill, and we were there until we come down here to Wanaka,’’ she said.
‘‘We’ve been in Wanaka since 1980. . .it was the skiing that bought us here, we were all mad skiiers.’’
‘‘In those days you used to stop in the middle of the street in your car and talk to somebody who was going the other way — you would stop and have a yarn, because there was nobody else on the street.’’
Celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary was a small affair with just the two of them as they were self-isolating due to Covid-19 , but a later celebration took place with the family at Edgewater Resort.
The secret to their long marriage? Doing things together — ‘‘like our skiing and, before that, swimming,’’ Mrs Duckmanton said.