Cou­ple ad­vo­cates not giv­ing up

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

‘‘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.

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