Cou­ple to­gether for 70 years

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

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.

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