A LOT can change in 65 years.

When Edward and Margaret Clouston married in 1958, a dirt track connected Omakau and Alexandra and the government would not employ married women.

Mr Clouston was working on the family farm in the Ida Valley while Mrs Clouston (nee McDonald) worked at a bank in Omakau — because of the rule requiring female government employees to be unmarried, she was forced to leave her job a week before the wedding.

Luckily, their marriage fared better than the job and the couple celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on April 26. ‘‘We’ve got a long history,’’ Mr Clouston said.

Mrs Clouston said the couple met during a dance.

They ‘‘just took it from there’’, Mr Clouston said.

‘‘We knew how to behave in those days.’’

They courted for three years before marrying at St James Presbyterian Church in South Dunedin. Initially the couple lived in Omakau, before moving to Mosgiel where they stayed for 21 years.

Mr Clouston worked in the coal industry, then as a builder, while Mrs Clouston was an accountant. They returned to Central Otago in the early 2000s to be closer to family and retire in Clyde.

They now live in Alexandra, where Mr Clouston runs a mobility scooter rental business from their home.

Family had always been the priority, and they have ‘‘quite abig clan’’ — five children, 12 grandchildren and eight greatgrandchildren.

‘‘They’re all beautiful, all intelligent,’’ Mrs Clouston said.

Keeping busy and working hard were key to a long marriage, Mrs Clouston said.

‘‘Nothing happens like a fairy dream. You have to work at marriage.’’