War meant cou­ple were apart for first three years

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

Tawa cou­ple Ruth and Alf Adams are proof that mar­riage helps you live longer.

On March 28 the war- time lovers will cel­e­brate their 73rd wed­ding an­niver­sary.

Their mar­riage had a rocky start, with Alf, ship­ping out to serve in World War II just days af­ter they tied the knot in 1942.

They met at a church in Auck­land and Alf, a farmer, fol­lowed Ruth back to Welling­ton.

‘‘We had a lovely wed­ding and then [ be­cause of army re­stric­tions] we were only al­lowed to travel 100 miles for our hon­ey­moon, so we only got as far as Palmer­ston North.

‘‘We came back af­ter a week there and he went straight to Tren­tham Mil­i­tary Camp and then over­seas,’’ 96-year-old Ruth said.

‘‘He was away for nearly three years.’’

Ruth, the daugh­ter of the orig­i­nal Aro St baker, held the fort back home and worked as a post­woman, no easy job in Welling­ton’s hilly sub­urbs.

‘‘Those were long, long walks, but all the men were away and the big hard jobs were done by women dur­ing the war.

‘‘It was tir­ing. I started at seven in the morn­ing. I wore out my legs do­ing that. I’ve got knee re­place­ments.’’

She worked at Kapi-Mana News af­ter the war and con­tin­ued to work in the print­ing trade af­ter that.

The time apart was made puz- zling for Ruth by the con­stant men­tion of a mys­te­ri­ous Karl An­der­son in Alf’s let­ters – his code way of try­ing to tell her he was in New Cale­do­nia.

‘‘He kept on talk­ing about Karl An­der­son. I thought, ‘Who the heck is this Karl An­der­son?’’’

When Alf re­turned from the war, he started work at His Mas­ter’s Voice, a record­ing com­pany, where he stayed for 32 years.

The cou­ple lived in Brook­lyn be­fore mov­ing to Lin­den and then Tawa, where they live in con­join­ing rooms at Longview Rest Home.

‘‘I don’t think there is any se­cret to stay­ing mar­ried,’’ Ruth said.

‘‘We loved each other and stuck to­gether.

‘‘We’ve just lived in our own lit­tle world. We’ve lived a sim­ple and a happy life, and there is still time to be happy.’’

Alf, 98, is los­ing his hear­ing and doesn’t speak too much th­ese days, but he had one thing to say.

‘‘She has been the best wife,’’ he said.

They fill their days to­gether sit­ting in the sun and go­ing for walks.

The pair have two sons, eight grand­chil­dren and 14 great­grand­chil­dren.

Photo: RHI­AN­NON MCCONNELL

Long time to­gether: Ruth and Alf Adams have been mar­ried for 73 years.

Long time ago: Alf and Ruth on their wed­ding day in 1942.

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