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
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
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
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
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.