Dream start to 50 years

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By NICOLA STE­WART

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.

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