Bruce and Mary King on their wedding day in 1954. Photo
Bruce and Mary King's long-lasting love story began on
the dance floor, much like many couples of their era.
The 82-year-olds, celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary
in Wanaka today, met as teenagers at a ball in Alexandra and
developed a relationship at dances throughout the district.
''We used to travel anywhere for a dance ... that was our
life in those days,'' Mr King said.
''A ball on a Friday night and a dance on a Saturday night,
all round Central Otago,'' his wife agreed.
Mrs King (nee Hesson) grew up in Alexandra and was working
there as a typist at the time, while Mr King - from a Wanaka
family - was building houses for workers on the Roxburgh Dam.
Shortly after Mr King moved to Oamaru for work he was joined
there by his future wife, who moved from Dunedin.
''She couldn't do without me, so she followed me.''
They married at St Enoch's Church, Alexandra, n April 24,
Wanaka couple Bruce and Mary King (both 82) met at a ball
as teenagers and today celebrate 60 years of marriage. They
were married in Alexandra in 1954. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
After a decade in Oamaru - five years before the wedding
and five after - an opportunity arose for Mr King to run a
building business in Wanaka, where they have lived ever since.
''[I'm] born and bred here and all our relations are here and
that's why we've stuck to it,'' Mr King said.
The pair were heavily involved in the Wanaka community,
including Mr King's 21 years in local government - nine as a
Lakes County councillor and the rest on Wanaka's community
They have three children, six grandchildren and four
great-grandchildren. While many of their family members live
close by, Mrs King keeps in touch with those further afield
via Facebook and Skype on her iPad.
Mr King said their successful union was due in part to
''never having time to argue''.
Having a husband who ''does what he's told'' also helped, Mrs
The couple had a celebratory family lunch over the Easter
break and planned to spend today's anniversary doing ''just
the usual'' at home together.