60 years sharing interest in others' welfare

Bernard and Anne Wilkinson celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Photo by Andrew Ashton.
Bernard and Anne Wilkinson celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Photo by Andrew Ashton.
A shared interest in the welfare of others is the secret to a long and happy marriage, according to one Oamaru couple who celebrated their Diamond Wedding anniversary this week.

Bernard Wilkinson (82) and his wife Anne (80) celebrated 60 years as a married couple at a family get-together in Kakanui on Thursday.

The function, which was attended by their five children and 20 immediate family members from all over New Zealand, was timed to coincide with the exact time of their wedding, 11am.

The couple first met as trainees at the Dunedin Teachers College in 1951, and were married two years later at St Martin's Church, in Northeast Valley, Dunedin.

They moved to Oamaru from Cromwell in 1976, after Mr Wilkinson was appointed vicar of St Luke's Anglican parish - a post he held for 16 years before retiring in 1992.

Mr Wilkinson is still heavily involved with the Oamaru Churches Foodbank and the North Otago Anglican Homes for the Aged charity, and Mrs Wilkinson is a passionate campaigner for Save the Children.

The couple's shared interest in the welfare of others formed a large part of their happy marriage, Mr Wilkinson said.

But it also helped that he had ''a wonderful wife'' to look after him, he said.