Sixty years on after head over heels romance
Margery and Arthur Avis still possess flashes of the two cheeky teenagers they were when they first met at a downtown Auckland bus stop.
The couple reminisced on their school days at their 60th wedding anniversary last week, surrounded by family and friends at Summerset Retirement Village in Aotea.
Both of them had differing accounts of their courtship, however.
‘‘He [ Arthur] was an Auckland Grammar boy in those days and I used to see him when I’d get off the bus at the bus stop on Symonds St,’’ Margery said.
‘‘My uniform had a white heron on it and he’d come up to me and say, ‘Hello stalky’ and I’d say, ‘ How are the lions feeding?’’’
Arthur claimed Margery fell head over heels for him – literally.
‘‘When we progressed to seeing each other, we went to the Olympic swimming pool.
‘‘She took a walk on the top tower and the first point of physical contact was my foot on her backside pushing her into the water.’’
She said it was the way Arthur held himself that captured her heart all those years ago.
‘‘He was never late and he was just very courteous.’’
Arthur responded, ‘‘ She had the best pair of boobs in the village’’.
Most of their Saturday nights were spent at the Railway Social Hall dancing to Bill Sevisi.
‘‘It started off, I had to be home by 11pm, then the time grew and grew,’’ said Margery.
They married in Auckland on February 3, 1951, and moved to Redwood Ave in Tawa in 1964, where they lived for 15 years.
The Avises had three children but lost their eldest son Robert in a car accident in Wellington in 1970.
‘‘It’s unnatural to have to bury your own children,’’ Arthur said.
‘‘They’re supposed to bury you, not the other way around.’’
Margery said the family stayed strong amid the tragedy and the close-knit community in Tawa ‘‘wrapped us in a warm blanket and helped us get through it’’.
A family dinner was held at Mana Cruising Club last Saturday with their son, daughter and four grandchildren.
Love and laughter: On February 3, 1951, Margery and Arthur Avis were married in Auckland. Sixty years later to the day, they celebrated their anniversary by cutting more cake.