Couple with much in common

Beckie and David Rout both have served as national presidents in their day and have remained good friends throughout their long marriage, never needing to use the hot-line to communicate. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Beckie and David Rout both have served as national presidents in their day and have remained good friends throughout their long marriage, never needing to use the hot-line to communicate. Photo by Linda Robertson.
If David or Beckie Rout ever needed to call the president, they did not have far to go.

The Routs - residents of St Clair, Dunedin - celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary yesterday and certainly have plenty in common.

Both were born in Invercargill, on the same day: December 10, 82 years ago.

Friends at intermediate school in Invercargill, they have taken part in shared birthday events - initially organised by their families - since they were 16. That birthday-sharing habit continued after they were married at the age of 22.

Both have been teachers, teaching together in London early in their marriage, and both later served as presidents of national organisations.

Mr Rout, a retired former head of accounting and economics at the then Kaikorai Valley High School, was president of Basketball New Zealand for about five years, from 1986.

He has long been involved with basketball at many levels, including travelling overseas regularly as a regional representative to FIBA, the international federation of amateur basketball. Mrs Rout is a former successful highland dancer who has won national championship titles. And she was the first woman president of the New Zealand Academy of Highland and National Dancing, serving for 11 years, until 2006.

She remains a long-serving national council member of the New Zealand Piping and Dancing Association.

Mrs Rout said a key to their long and successful relationship was giving each other some space, not trying to change the other person, and supporting each other in their goals.

''You've got to have your point of view, but we've managed to accommodate each other.''

A shared love of travel and a good sense of humour had also helped.

Their respective families, and their children, Neil and Janet, had also been ''most supportive'' over the years, Mr Rout said. Another key to their good health and success as a couple had been their physical fitness, and their enjoyment of heading off for long walks together, including during a recent visit to Moscow and St Petersburg, in Russia.

They celebrated their diamond anniversary by going out last night for a quiet family dinner.

''I'm always happy when someone else does the washing up,'' Mrs Rout added.

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