Love’s writ­ten on their faces

Central Leader - - News - By Lisa Sloan

SOME peo­ple be­lieve in love at first sight.

But June Lau­rance knew her hus­band Ray­mond was the one be­fore she ever laid eyes on him.

The pair be­gan writ­ing to each other at the age of 17 while Ray­mond was serv­ing with the air force in the Pa­cific.

Af­ter a year of ex­chang­ing let­ters, they fi­nally met, and af­ter an­other year of writ­ing they be­came en­gaged and mar­ried in 1948.

The con­nec­tion made with pen and pa­per is still go­ing strong af­ter three chil­dren, six grand­chil­dren, five great­grand­chil­dren and six decades to­gether.

June and Ray­mond, now 81, will mark their 60th an­niver­sary to­mor­row and cel­e­brated with a lunch at­tended by fam­ily and friends last week­end.

The cou­ple say a sense of hu­mour, sup­port and co­op­er­a­tion have been the se­cret to suc­cess in their mar­riage.

“There’s been plenty of laugh­ing and plenty of af­fec­tion and there’s never a day that goes by where I don’t tell the old bug­ger I love him at least once,” says June.

“It’s al­ways just come nat­u­rally, we clicked and that’s all there is to it.”

June and Ray­mond be­gan writ­ing to each other af­ter the bus driver who took June to work ev­ery day asked if she would write to his son.

They wrote let­ters ev­ery week and met up when Ray­mond re­turned for a year’s break. When he went to Ja­pan 12 months later they con­tin­ued to write to each other.

They be­came en­gaged while Ray­mond was still away and mar­ried at St Matthew-in-the-City when he re­turned in 1948.

Af­ter they mar­ried, Ray­mond and June lived in their first home in Church St in One­hunga be­fore mov­ing to Haw­era for sev­eral years.

They re­turned to One­hunga in 1956 where they raised their chil­dren Brian, Robin and Karen, and still live to­day.

Ray­mond worked in the De­part­ment of Health and a glass com­pany be­fore go­ing into the paint­ing and dec­o­rat­ing busi­ness.

In 1988 he also did a course in sports medicine and has been a trainer for the Te Pa­papa Rugby Club, vice-pres­i­dent of the One­hunga RSA and ac­tively in­volved in the Freema­sons char­ity.

The cou­ple say mar­ried life was tough at first.

They both worked hard for wages, which would equate to about $18 a fort­night each th­ese days.

But June says they have been very lucky.

“We have al­ways been in work, al­ways owned our own home, and we’ve both reached 81 with no bro­ken bones yet,” she says.

“You al­ways love each other but over time you grow to like and re­spect each other as well and that’s more than half the bat­tle.”

The pair en­joy go­ing for walks to­gether, lis­ten­ing to mu­sic and spend­ing time with friends at their bach in Cooks Beach.

“We like to walk on the beach to­gether and we still hold hands,” says Ray­mond.

“There’s a lot of af­fec­tion there.”

He says be­ing there for each other has kept their mar­riage go­ing strong.

“We sup­port each other no mat­ter what and we’ve had dis­cus­sions but we’ve never ever had an ar­gu­ment,” he says.

“She has been one of my great­est sup­port­ers and I couldn’t have done all this with­out her.”

Per­fect match: June and Ray­mond Lau­rance on their wed­ding day at St Matthewin-the-City in 1948.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Last­ing union: June and Ray­mond Lau­rance cel­e­brate their 60th wed­ding an­niver­sary to­mor­row.

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