Couple advocates not giving up
‘‘If you have to ask ‘ when do I know I’m in love?’ then you’re not.’’
Simple but sound advice from one half of a partnership that is well- qualified to offer marital advice – David Hollier, who has been married to wife Gloria for 50 years. The milestone was reached on January 20.
The couple have been in Tawa since 1969. David, who was a minister, grew up in Auckland, as did Gloria, but his work for the church would also take them to Invercargill and Zimbabwe, before settling in Wellington.
Southland might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but, despite the conservatism, they found the people welcoming and enjoyed the proximity to places like Queenstown.
‘‘Going there with a four-weekold daughter was interesting, she was supposed to be born in Auckland but decided to come early,’’ Gloria says.
Spending 1992 in Zimbabwe, where David was chaplain at a school, was ‘‘totally, utterly different’’ and an experience they will always treasure.
‘‘When Gloria married me she said ‘I hope you have no intention of ever being a missionary’ but that’s exactly what happened for a year,’’ David says.
Returning home in 1993, David was the director of Hutt Valley Marriage Guidance Council for a time, before ending his working life as minister for the newlyformed Tawa Union Church.
It was the church that brought them together, with bible classes and youth groups among the main social activities available to young people when they were growing up.
‘‘There were no nightclubs and pubs, it was church and coffee bars. It was a very good way for people to get to know each other,’’ says Gloria.
David could be accused of stealing his future wife away from another man, however.
‘‘I was a young minister at a camp and this friend said ‘can you look after Gloria, I don’t trust these other guys’. I saw him recently and said ‘do you want her back?’ Seriously though, she was an attractive young lady with a great personality.’’
Gloria says she set out to marry David ‘‘before he got away’’. Married in Onehunga in 1962, she was 20 to his 28, but Gloria says she had been in love with him since the age of 14.
David says no marriage is ever smooth, and is grateful Gloria accepted the number of moves to different parts of New Zealand.
Being a minister’s wife ‘‘did not sit comfortably on my shoulders’’ at first, she says, but becoming a successful sales rep and branch manager for a photocopying company saw Gloria pursue her own ambitions.
The Holliers had two children, Gary and Trudy, both educated in Tawa, and now have three grandchildren. One of these is due to have a baby soon, to make them great- grandparents. They, and many friends, came together over Wellington Anniversary weekend to celebrate their own golden occasion.
Reflecting on 50 years together, they have simple responses when asked how they made it work. David: ‘‘You work at it and accept any changes. We are two different people, after all. With love, you have that bubbly feeling and the highs early in the relationship, and a lot of people quit when that goes. But I think love just matures.’’ Gloria: ‘‘Marriage isn’t easy but you don’t just give up on it when things get hard. It’s an investment you make.’’
Partnership: David and Gloria Hollier have enjoyed living in Tawa for more than 40 years. ‘‘It’s a fantastic place, with the valleys and hills, and has a real identity of its own,’’ David says.