Dream start to 50 years
John and Carol Follows started their marriage with a stroke of luck but luck has had nothing to do with keeping them together for 50 years.
The couple won a trip to Tahiti and Fiji in January 1964 and flew to the Pacific Islands on the day of their wedding.
Then 18, and working in the makeup department of Gummers in Morrinsville, Mrs Follows entered the competition run by cosmetic company Cyclax.
‘‘From what I remember, I had to pick the most popular colours. I posted my entry in and forgot all about it,’’ said Mrs Follows. ‘‘It was all pretty quick. ‘‘We had to go up to Auckland to collect the prize. They flew us from Hamilton to Whenuapai.
‘‘It was quite a big deal for us. We had never been to a big sort of thing in the city. It was pretty scary.’’
After marrying in the Presbyterian Church in Morrinsville on February 1, the young couple flew to Fiji, then Tahiti.
The trip was their first overseas experience and a bit of an ‘‘eye opener’’, said Mrs Follows.
They also won £50 spending money and a case of makeup products.
‘‘I haven’t won anything since. I think I did my dash with that one,’’ she said.
The couple had met two years earlier at a dance in Morrinsville and on returning to New Zealand, moved to Matamata, where Mr Follows had secured a job as a joiner.
They had two children, Rhonda and Paul, and were actively involved in the sporting community.
Mrs Follows worked for Gardner Fashions for 18 years, then Mitre 10 for 12 years, while Mr Follows worked for Matamata Glass and Joinery for 19 years.
‘‘We are pretty faithful to the district,’’ said Mr Follows.
They have kept up with travelling and have explored much of Australia, been to Bali, Phuket and Singapore, and revisited the islands on a cruise.
They now have four grandchildren and said the secret to 50 years of marriage was ‘‘just being there for each other’’.
‘‘It’s give and take that’s for sure,’’ said Mr Follows. ‘‘You just cruise along really and all of a sudden it’s been 50 years and you wonder where it’s gone.’’
The couple celebrated their golden anniversary at the Plantation with close friends and family, including the flower girl and best man from their wedding.
Golden: John and Carol Follows cut the cake at their 50th wedding anniversary party.
Memento: The article that appeared in the a trip to Tahiti. The story incorrectly named them Fellows.
after the couple won
The big day: John and Carol Follows on their wedding day.