Sweet time together for 70 years

Anne and Norman Rowlands celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary in the garden of their Wardronville home yesterday. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Anne and Norman Rowlands celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary in the garden of their Wardronville home yesterday. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Their relationship started out sweet, Dunedin couple Norman and Anne Rowlands recalled yesterday, as they celebrated their 70 years of marriage.

''We met in the lolly factory in Bury where we both worked. It was a bit like Cadbury's,'' Mrs Rowlands (nee Smith) said yesterday.

The couple, both aged 90, married at St John's Church, in Bury, England, on January 30, 1943.

''D-Day was coming up, which put the pressure on,'' Mr Rowlands said.

They had plenty of advice on how to survive seven decades of marriage: ''Do what you're told. And if anything does go wrong, it's his fault,'' Mrs Rowlands said with a chuckle.

Mr Rowlands advised: ''We've always done everything together, from concreting to making cakes. That's the secret; being and doing things together.''

''If we want wallpaper, we go and choose it together. We're always together.''

The couple emigrated to New Zealand at the age of 30.

Mr Rowlands worked as foreman at Industrial Gases at Burnside and Mrs Rowlands at the former Evening Star newspaper, checking lotteries.

Cards from the Queen, Prime Minister John Key and Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae took pride of place in their Waldronville home yesterday.

''I can't believe we've been married for so long. I just can't explain it,'' Mrs Rowlands said.

''We've been back to Bury, but it wasn't the same,'' her husband said.

''The church where we got married is gone now. So is the lolly factory.''

The couple will have a celebratory afternoon tea on Saturday at the Janet Cameron Centre in Green Island.

- nigel.benson@odt.co.nz

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