Love, music, theatre key to 65 years of marriage
No matter the weather, couple happy together, singing each other’s praises hen Stan and Sylvie Gyde got engaged, they were so giddy with excitement they danced in overflowing gutters re-enacting a scene from the film on their way home.
Sixty-five years later the theatreloving couple still only have eyes for each other. Today, they celebrate their blue sapphire wedding anniversary.
As the visited the Gydes’ Pyes Pa home this week, the first words out of Mrs Gyde’s mouth were: “I’ve married the best man in the world.”
W“I really am so lucky,” she said. The couple met in Devonport, mainly thanks to Mrs Gyde’s parents.
The then 20-year-old was about to head to Australia for work when her mother threw her a surprise farewell party, inviting members of the local golf club which they belonged to. Among them was Mr Gyde, singing along to the music. “We just got on,” Mrs Gyde said. “He loves music and singing. So do I.”
Mr Gyde, then 23, said the Australian trip did not last long.
“We missed each other something terrible.”
It wasn’t long before Mr Gyde proposed — in arguably less than romantic circumstances.
“I asked her to marry me outside the gasworks in Devonport in the pouring rain.
“We’d been in Auckland and got the ferry but were walking back to her place. It was pouring.
“I asked her to marry me, and she said ‘what a hell of a night!’.
"We say ‘I love you’ every night." Sylvie Gyde
“That’s how silly we were. We splashed and sloshed in the gutters singing all the way home,” he said. “We’ve always loved music.” On September 29, 1953, the couple married at a church in Devonport.
Mrs Gyde’s mother made her wedding dress.
Mr Gyde can still remember being so nervous his hands were shaking and he was holding his breath but “it was a wonderful day”.
The couple settled in Hamilton before moving to Whitianga and eventually Tauranga.
In their 65 years, they have had three children, six grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. A large canvas print celebrating their family adorns their living room wall and programmes for various theatre shows starring children or grandchildren are on display.
The couple love theatre, and their children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. Not arguing in front of them was a key to a happy marriage, Mrs Gyde said. As was another important ritual. “We say ‘I love you’ every night,” she said.
As Mrs Gyde talks, she turns to her husband and kisses him gently.
“It’s true. I love you.”