Matamata pair 50 years wed
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.