Couple together for 70 years
They married at a time when Casablanca was the biggest film and Moonlight Cocktail by Glenn Miller’s Orchestra was the most-played song.
This film and song topped their respective charts in 1942, the year Freda and Jackson Dale Mortram wed.
The couple celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on March 14 with friends in Putaruru.
‘‘Yes, the party was a very nice surprise,’’ Freda said.
‘‘ There would have been about 30 people there. The cake was shaped like a aeroplane and my favourite flower is african violets, so the cake was decorated with african violets.’’
Both were born in west Yorkshire, England, and at the age of 15 worked in the same textile mill.
‘‘We were married at 22. We have done everything together, Freda said. ‘‘We were big cyclists in our day and we have toured all over the world.’’
Their lives changed with World War II.
‘‘War came along and that altered our lives. We have done everything together but not in the war years, we weren’t able to,’’ Freda said.
Jackson was called into the Royal Air Force.
‘‘That time we had one son, a sick child, we were told that he would only live for another six months if we stayed in the country,’’ Freda said. At the time, the Royal New Zealand Air Force was calling for volunteers. Jackson applied and was successful. The family relocated to New Zealand to begin their new life.
‘‘We have talked through every decision. All in all we have had a happy life.’’
Both share a love for music, which is evident in the musical instruments displayed in their home.
They have also spent 22 years in Tokoroa and nine years in Mangakino.
‘‘We have made some very good friends in Tokoroa. They all look after us, the older we have got the more they have rallied around us.’’
Along with their son, they have three grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and two great- greatgrandchildren.
STAYING CLOSE: Tokoroa couple Freda Mortram and Jackson Dale Mortram marked their 70th wedding anniversary last Wednesday.