Yeends cel­e­brate

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - TERESA HATTAN

Ge­off Yeend’s aim was to marry a girl who’s fam­ily had a tele­vi­sion set. He wanted to watch the Queen’s corona­tion but on re­flec­tion he says he ‘‘slipped up’’.

His now wife Mau­reen’s par­ents never had a TV.

Mean­while, Mau­reen has four broth­ers and has al­ways said Ge­off mar­ried her for her broth­ers be­cause he was an only child.

Ge­off lived one side of the rail- way tracks while Mau­reen lived on the ‘‘good side’’.

The cou­ple grew up within five kilo­me­tres of each other on the out­skirts of Lon­don but didn’t meet un­til at a dance when Ge­off was 20 and Mau­reen 16.

Mau­reen turned up to the dance with one of her broth­ers. Mau­reen says the next morn­ing she and her brother were talk­ing, call­ing be­tween bed­rooms.

‘‘He said Ge­off had said ‘bring your sis­ter next week’. I said ‘well, who’s Ge­off?’ and he said ‘oh, the lit­tle fella’.

The Mata­mata cou­ple met in 1953 and were mar­ried on Oc­to­ber 22, 1955.

While the early days were chal­leng­ing, rais­ing two chil­dren and em­i­grat­ing to New Zealand in 1973 and then to North Hol­ly­wood in 1978, the cou­ple have had many happy years to­gether.

They’ve been on a sheep farm, Ge­off has worked as a news­pa­per prin­ter and the pair were in the movie ad­ver­tis­ing industry in Amer­ica in the 70s and 80s.

They re­turned to New Zealand in 1989 and bought the Dal­tons farm in Mata­mata.

They sold this in 2009 be­fore buy­ing a sec­tion in town.

Ge­off and Mau­reen cel­e­brated their 60th wed­ding an­niver­sary with a week spent on Nor­folk Is­land.

‘‘We’re still stopped to­gether,’’ Mau­reen says.

The cou­ple have a pas­sion for trav­el­ling and have vis­ited a num­ber of ex­otic places around the world, al­though Mau­reen isn’t able to travel much th­ese days. Ge­off still gets out and about in­clud­ing a re­cent trip to South Africa, Botswana and Zam­bia.

And do the cou­ple have any ad­vice for a long and happy mar­riage?

‘‘I al­ways say give and take. I give and Mau­reen takes,’’ Ge­off jokes.

But in all hon­esty, they say a mar­ried cou­ple needs to live within their means, be re­al­is­tic and learn to do things to­gether.


Ge­off and Mau­reen Yeend cel­e­brat­ing their 50th wed­ding an­niver­sary in Egypt. For their 60th they spent a week on Nor­folk Is­land.

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