Armin and Joyce reach magic 60
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’’.
Still in love: Armin and Joyce Blum today.
Happy memories: Armin and Joyce Blum on their wedding day, March 23, 1954.