Kath (88) and Pop (91) Winmill show they are 'still very much in love' after 65 years of marriage. Photo by Linda Robertson.
The bud of teenage romance blossomed into a lifetime of love
for Kath and Pop Winmill.
The Waikouaiti couple celebrated 65 years of marriage
yesterday, but can still recall their early impressions of
each other at Lawrence District High School.
''I fell in love with her in form 2,'' Mr Winmill said.
''You know why? I had auburn hair and nice long legs,'' Mrs
Winmill said with a laugh.
''It was the legs that got me and I have been in love ever
since,'' he said.
While Mr Winmill was ''born and bred'' in Lawrence, Mrs
Winmill (nee French) was raised in Ravensbourne and moved to
Lawrence when she was 9.
''I thought he was a bit all right back then,'' she said.
''But so did a lot of other girls.
''But we were meant to be, weren't we, Pop?''Their romance
had survived World War 2, a battlefield injury and a scare
Mr Winmill served in the infantry in World War 2 from 1941 to
1945, during which the couple kept on writing to each other.
In 1945, while serving in Italy he was shot.
Upon returning home he set to making her his wife, although
Mrs Winmill claimed, ''I don't remember you proposing.''
''I can,'' he said, sitting upright.
''I came home from being overseas and your mum and dad were
having a bit of a do at your place.
''We were in the Model A sitting in the back seat and your
mum and dad in the front seat and I said to your mother I
wanted to propose ... and there was dead silence in the
Mrs Winmill had worked as a nurse and was diagnosed with
''shadow in the lungs'' after nursing men with tuberculosis,
so her father suggested they waited until she was clear of
the disease before they married.
''I didn't wait. I asked her and I married her,'' Mr Winmill
They married at Holy Trinity Church in Lawrence, on February
What followed was the ''most wonderful life'', which had
taken them from Lawrence to Roxburgh to Dunedin and,
ultimately, Waikouaiti, Mrs Winmill said.
It had produced five ''wonderful kids'', eight grandchildren
and five great-grandchildren.
And what was the secret to a long and happy marriage?
Hard work and a sense of humour, the couple said.
''I always maintain if you have got your health, your friends
and your sense of humour - you are the luckiest bugger
alive,'' Mr Winmill said.
The couple considered themselves ''very lucky'', as they were
still well, both had their best friend in each other and,
after 65 years of marriage, they were still laughing.