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Happy marriage . . . Wanaka couple Wilhelmina and Nick Mayen get ready for their 65th wedding anniversary celebrations this weekend. PHOTO: MARK PRICE

PAM JONES

and MARK PRICE

For Wanaka couple Wilhelmina and Nick Mayen, the secret to 65 years of marriage was simple.

They “couldn’t afford” to have an argument as, having emigrated to New Zealand from their home in the Netherlands, they “only had each other”.

“When we arrived we couldn’t speak the language and so if we ever had anything like an argument we had to make up as there was just the two of us.

“We always sorted it out before we went to bed.”

The Wanaka couple, who will celebrate their anniversary this weekend with family and friends, were married in St Joseph’s Cathedral in Dunedin on October 30, 1954, a month after they arrived as immigrants from the Dutch town of Tilburg.

They moved to Wanaka in 1986 and ran the camping ground in Mt Aspiring Rd then known as Pleasant Lodge for eight years, before retiring.

Mrs Mayen said they “never regretted” moving to New Zealand, choosing to do so after World War 2 when “everything was changing”.

“This is our home now.”

It is always a good idea to have plenty of biscuits on hand for their two children, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

They will have their anniversary celebration on Saturday at the home of their son Johanes, who lives 300m from their own home.