Mata­mata pair 50 years wed

Matamata Chronicle - - Welcome To Matamata - By NI­COLA STE­WART

Mata­mata’s Garry Stan­ley has one sim­ple, sound piece of ad­vice for young hus­bands-to-be. ‘‘Do as you are told.’’ And Mr Stan­ley is more than qual­i­fied to be giv­ing tips.

On June 9, he and his wife Mary cel­e­brated 50 years of mar­riage.

Mrs Stan­ley first caught his eye at an out­door pre­sen­ta­tion of It’s in the Bag in Tau­ranga in the early 60s.

‘‘My mates and I were sit­ting there and this mother and her two daugh­ters came along and sat in front of us,’’ he said.

‘‘One of the sis­ters had pig­tails and I was tempted to pull them. It was a ter­ri­ble mis­take.’’

Eigh­teen months later, Mr and Mrs Stan­ley were mar­ried in the Angli­can Church in Mata­mata.

Mr Stan­ley grew up on the out­skirts of Mata­mata on the Stan­ley Farm.

Mrs Stan­ley was just 40km away on a dairy farm in Cam­bridge.

Fol­low­ing his fa­ther into the build­ing and join­ery trade, Mr Stan­ley helped to es­tab­lish the fam­ily busi­ness, Stan­ley Con­struc­tion, in 1958.

Mrs Stan­ley also worked for the com­pany for years and Mr Stan­ley said they were al­ways able to work well to­gether.

‘‘Mary’s al­ways been a great sup­port for me,’’ he said.

‘‘Not many peo­ple can live to­gether and work to­gether, but we al­ways man­aged it.’’

The cou­ple had three daugh­ters – the el­dest was killed in a car ac­ci­dent – and now have four grand­chil­dren.

Mr Stan­ley said there was no bet­ter place than Mata­mata to raise a fam­ily.

‘‘I have trav­elled ex­ten­sively, worked overseas for a year, and I still think that Mata­mata is the best place to live,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s cen­tral to ev­ery­where and it’s got a great com­mu­nity spirit to it – if some­thing needs do­ing, Mata­mata peo­ple do it.’’

Never one to watch from the side­lines, Mr Stan­ley has been in­volved in a num­ber of or­gan­i­sa­tions in the Mata­mata com­mu­nity over the years.

For 26 years he was a fire­fighter with the Mata­mata Vol­un­teer Fire Brigade and held the po­si­tion of chief fire of­fi­cer for close to 15 years.

He has been a mem­ber of the Mata­mata Lions for about 30 years, and for the past eight years Mr Stan­ley has served as a coun­cil­lor for the Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil.

He also serves as chair­man of the Mata­mata Com­mu­nity Health Shut­tle Trust.

Mrs Stan­ley said that even though her hus­band sold up his share of the con­struc­tion busi­ness six years ago he still man­aged to work seven days a week.

‘‘I don’t know how I found time to work be­fore,’’ Mr Stan­ley said. ‘‘I’m still kept pretty busy.’’ De­spite his sched­ule, the cou­ple have found time to travel around the world, in­clud­ing tak­ing all four of their grand­chil­dren to Dis­ney­land in Amer­ica.

Five years ago the cou­ple built a house in Mata­mata with an out­look to the Kaimai Range and Mr and Mrs Stan­ley say there is no place they would rather be.

Golden: Mata­mata cou­ple Garry and Mary Stan­ley re­cently cel­e­brated 50 years of mar­riage.

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