60 years and still going strong
‘‘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.