Love’s written on their faces
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.
Lasting union: June and Raymond Laurance celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary tomorrow.