Ma­pua cou­ple mark 60th an­niver­sary

The Leader (Nelson) - - BACKYARD BANTER - JES­SICA LONG

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.

MARTIN DE RUYTER

Don An­drews and Va­lerie An­drews have sub­scribed to the Nel­son Mail for all 60 years of their mar­ried life.

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