Mapua couple mark 60th anniversary
There’s a 60-year-old wedding photo hanging on the wall of Valerie and Don Andrews’ Mapua home.
Joy and love is spread across their faces, 60 years on that look has only grown deeper.
On January 12 the Andrews celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary and for as long as they have been married they have also subscribed to the Nelson Mail, they said.
Don likes to read his paper everyday in his blue chair and then he passes it to Valerie to do the puzzles over a cup of tea and shortbread. Valerie said like her parents before her she wanted to celebrate their anniversary with the local news.
Valerie and Don’s story begins before they met. It was about 1954.
Don was helping build a house on the same street Valerie lived. The pair noticed each other but never spoke.
Valerie would ride her bike past the work site every day and Don would think ‘‘she’s quite nice’’.
Valerie told her younger brother one morning she fancied to go out with Don, even though she had never met him. Her brother dashed over to the halfbuilt house, without Valerie’s knowledge, and told Don.
‘‘That night I couldn’t get home fast enough, on the phone I got and asked her out. She said yes,’’ Don said.
If Valerie’s brother hadn’t come over Don said he didn’t know if he would have ever ‘‘plucked up the courage to talk to her’’.
‘‘He came and got me in his car,’’ Valerie said. It was a green Austin A40.
They went to the Majestic Theatre next to Valerie’s work. She did accounts for a company that sold products like coal and grain. ‘‘I was only about 17,’’ she said.
‘‘I dropped Valerie home. I don’t think she kissed me. She left me standing,’’ Don said. ‘‘I thought I wasn’t going to leave that alone.’’
Their young love evolved and grew from there. Two years later they were married.
‘‘Our wedding was quite lovely,’’ Valerie said. Her dress was hand-made in Nelson and was completely lace. She said she made the veil herself, sowing small sequins all over it.
‘‘I’ve got the top of the dress still but I [later] cut the bottom off and used it for a bassinet.’’
Don and Valerie married at the Old St John’s Church adorned with stained-glass windows and handsome steps down that led inside.
The reception of 100 guests was held at the Old Folks Hall.
It has been 60 years but Valerie and Don’s love hasn’t waned. They said the secret to a happy marriage was their love for their family and each other.
They celebrated their anniversary with their three children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren on Christmas Eve at Moutere Hills Vineyard and Winery.
Don Andrews and Valerie Andrews have subscribed to the Nelson Mail for all 60 years of their married life.