War meant couple were apart for first three years
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.
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.