The secret to 71 happy years of marriage

NZ Herald 3 December 2015
Audrey and Doug Attrill have been married nearly 72 years and are in the running to be New Zealand’s longest married couple.

The pair met 77 years ago at a local park near Mrs Attrill’s home in New Plymouth. Mr Attrill ended up doubling his future wife home on his bicycle.

“I thought he was a slight little guy and I was quite a tall girl, I didn’t think that much of it but then afterwards we used to see each other around and wave to each other, that sort of thing,” Mrs Attrill told The Bay of Plenty Times yesterday.

Mrs Attrill, 90, said her beau left school and worked at the Bank of Australasia for a year before being signed to the navy in 1941.

He was drafted to a ship in the Middle East and sent the occasional telegram to Mrs Attrill. Eventually he came home and the pair were married on May 1, 1944, at the St Joseph’s Catholic Church in the King Country.

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“We believed that marriage was a sacred thing and when we were married we automatically believed it was forever. We never thought of separation if things didn’t please us. A marriage is not a flash dress, a wedding cake, a big crown and a party, that is not what marriage is all about. That’s what young people think it is today. But it’s something more than that. Stick to the old values and you won’t go wrong.”

The search is on
Nominations are open to any married couple (either NZ citizen or NZ resident) and may be submitted by email [email protected] or by posting to Family First NZ, PO Box 276-133, Manukau City 2241.

Nominations will be taken until January 15, 2016 with the winners named on February 14, 2016 (Valentine’s Day) to coincide with National Marriage Week.

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