60 years and still go­ing strong

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

‘‘There’s no cap­tain on this ship – we’re just good mates.’’

That’s ac­cord­ing to Gra­ham Alexan­der, who this week cel­e­brates 60 years of mar­riage to wife Enid. The Mana cou­ple will recog­nise the mile­stone with a quiet fam­ily din­ner.

Orig­i­nally from Welling­ton, Enid a Kil­birnie girl and Gra­ham a Mi­ra­mar lad, met at a dance at the Rio Grande dance hall in Mi­ra­mar, went out for 10 months and were en­gaged for 10 months.

Much like some of the weather that raged out­side their home that over­looks Mana Es­planade and Porirua Har­bour last week, the Alexan­ders were mar­ried in rough weather.

‘‘It was at the Wes­ley Church in Taranaki St [in Welling­ton],’’ Enid re­called. ‘‘We had a band play­ing us in and just as we ar­rived, the heav­ens opened.

‘‘It’s fair to say the band dis­banded in a dis­or­derly fash­ion.’’

The cou­ple came to Porirua af­ter Gra­ham’s fam­ily was forced to move be­cause of the Welling­ton Air­port ex­pan­sion in the 1950s.

While it was a big up­heaval, Gra­ham said it was the best thing that could have hap­pened.

The new­ly­weds soon found their own place and have lived in their home for 58 years.

‘‘We feel like we’ve grown up with Porirua,’’ Gra­ham said. ‘‘There used to be sheep on the hills around here [Mana] and Porirua was just a vil­lage.

‘‘It’s in­cred­i­ble to see how far it’s come and we love it – there’s no need for us to go into Welling- ton be­cause every­thing we need is right here.’’

They re­call their street be­ing called ‘‘Nappy Val­ley’’ by some as their boys Laurie and Neville were among dozens of kids grow­ing up at the same time.

All of those kids have moved away, but the Alexan­ders, who are well into their 80s now, say they won’t give up their mil­lion­dol­lar views for any­thing.

Sixty years to­gether has gone quickly, Enid said. The se­cret to a happy mar­riage, she said, came down to re­spect and com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

The cou­ple play bowls to­gether, dance, at­tend Probus and tu­tor com­puter classes for Grey Power. Enid once took over Gra­ham’s job as credit con­troller at Farm­ers in Cuba St.

In 2004, Gra­ham joined the Welling­ton Male Voice Choir, some­thing that keeps him ac­tive to this day.

Gra­ham and Enid Alexan­der, from Mana, who cel­e­brate 60 years of mar­riage this week.

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