Ar­min and Joyce reach magic 60

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By BRITTANY MANN

They may be push­ing 90, but Ar­min and Joyce Blum’s party an­i­mal in­stinct re­mains in­tact.

The cou­ple’s 60th wed­ding an­niver­sary took place on March 23, with three shindigs span­ning two cities to mark the oc­ca­sion. The Blums are still re­cov­er­ing.

The main cel­e­bra­tion was at the James Cook Ho­tel in Welling­ton, and was at­tended by fam­ily and Mr Blum’s ta­ble ten­nis friends.

The res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tion at Sum­mer­set Re­tire­ment Vil­lage also hon­oured the cou­ple at events be­fore and af­ter the mo­men­tous date.

At the James Cook, 89-year-old Mr Blum re­cited a 12-verse poem he had writ­ten for his wife en­ti­tled Divine In­ter­ven­tion.

How­ever, it was not the first time she had heard it. When Mrs Blum, 88, took ill about two months ear­lier, her hus­band feared she would not get the chance to hear his metic­u­lously crafted words.

‘‘She could hardly stand up and I thought I’d lose her. I felt I would like to read to her what I felt about her, about when we met.

‘‘From that day on, she got bet­ter. But it wasn’t just that – she changed, pills, too.’’

Mr Blum blew the limit on his credit card by spend­ing $2500 on an ex­quis­ite di­a­mond ring, as is tra­di­tional for a di­a­mond wed­ding an­niver­sary.

Mrs Blum said she didn’t know it was com­ing.

‘‘I didn’t think I would agree to it – it’s a lot of money. But of course when I went look­ing, Ar­min came up be­hind me and said, ‘Which one do you like’?’’

The cou­ple were 27 when they met at a YMCA dance in July 1953. Mr Blum’s poem said in part: She glanced my way and held my gaze

And what then hap­pened is still in a haze Her face lit up, I saw a chance I knew then I had to ask her for the next dance.

They were en­gaged in De­cem- ber 1953 and mar­ried three months later.

Mr Blum pro­posed on a walk to the botanic gar­dens, but said he did not go down on one knee. ‘‘I don’t know why,’’ he said.

Mr Blum, an Aus­trian, had been in New Zealand less than a year when he met Joyce.

‘‘I was go­ing to go back. But when I met her, I never felt I needed to. I felt I was home.’’

The wed­ding was at St Peter’s in Wil­lis St in Welling­ton.

The cou­ple went on to have three chil­dren, Linda, Paul and Eric, and have two grand­chil­dren.

Eric was born pro­foundly deaf and when he was 31⁄ Mrs Blum moved her chil­dren to Christchurch so he could at­tend Van Asch Col­lege for the deaf.

Mr Blum joined them months later.

They said there was no se­cret to their en­dur­ing af­fec­tion, other than Mrs Blum’s ex­cel­lent cook­ing and Mr Blum’s tried- and- true con­flict res­o­lu­tion strat­egy – re­spond­ing with a sim­ple, ‘‘ Yes, dear’’.

Photo: BRITTANY MANN

Still in love: Ar­min and Joyce Blum to­day.

Happy mem­o­ries: Ar­min and Joyce Blum on their wed­ding day, March 23, 1954.

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