Being lucky and working at marriage were the keys to being happy, according to a couple celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.
Bryan and Dianne King (nee Waigth) were married in Roxburgh on June 1, 1963. It was a different era altogether and the Kings have adjusted and adapted while maintaining their fundamental belief in the value of family and community.
Mrs King’s father JR was a former mayor of Roxburgh. She went to St Philomena’s College, in Dunedin, for her secondary education and returned to Roxburgh an accomplished shorthand typist.
Mr King was ‘‘an import’’, moving to Dumbarton when his father Alf, a women’s tailor, bought land in 1950 and began growing apples.
Roxburgh was a more lively place then and there was a dance every Saturday night, Mr King said.
A flagon and a packet of cigarettes cost the equivalent of 35 cents, Mr King said.
Mrs King would go to the dance after working at the Roxburgh picture theatre. She and her sisters, like all their friends, made their own clothes.
‘‘We would go to Laloli’s [drapery] for a Simplicity pattern,’’ she said.
The Kings lived on their orchard in Roxburgh East before moving to Alexandra in 1990. They had five sons and one daughter. Their second son Mathew died in 1967, at three weeks from a heart condition.
Devoted to their community, the Kings were involved in many groups. Like his father, Mr King was involved in the Teviot fruitgrowers group. He was a Paul Harris fellow in the Rotary, as was their son Derek.
At some point he had been chairman or secretary of every group except the Masonic Lodge, he said.
Mrs King was secretary of groups from playcentre to the parish council.
‘‘It was natural — it’s what our parents did,’’ Mr King said.
While living in Roxburgh Mrs King began writing occasionally for Central Otago News and Otago Daily Times. When they moved to Alexandra she worked fulltime for the newspapers. She also wrote several books, including a history of Teviot Valley families Our Memories, Our Stories.