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.