Betty and Brett 60 years married
‘ In sickness and in health. We’ve had both. That’s what it’s all about.’’
BEING new to Tauranga, Betty and Brett Bartlett-Wright weren’t too sure if they would receive many cards for their 60th wedding anniversary.
So just to be sure, the couple went out and bought their own special diamond anniversary card— they had always bought cards for one another during their long marriage so this was no different.
Instead, Betty and Brett were inundated with cards from family and friends and good wishes from people in their new home at Bob Owens retirement village.
Like many couples, Betty and Brett met at a dance in Wanganui. Brett had come up from Mastertonwith a pal— Bernard Svendsen— to attend the dance (Bernard went on to marry Betty’s sister, although they didn’tmeet that night).
The rest is history— Brett thought Betty was “pretty nice” and asked her to dance before asking for her address. Brett threw himself into the deep end by travelling up again the next weekend to meet Betty’s parents.
Brett can’t recall being nervous but remembers Betty’s dad as being a “nice chap”.
They went to another dance. Everyweekend from there on
Brett travelled to see Betty.
Betty was just 19 when they met. They held out marrying for two years as Betty says she wasn’t ready.
“My mother always said ‘don’t get married until you’re 21’.”
The two married September 20, 1958. Theymoved to Feilding
where Brett worked as a mechanic (Betty was a seamstress). They bought land, built a house and stayed there for 53 years.
They had two boys, Stephen and David (and now have eight grandchildren).
Brett stopped working as a mechanic to work the night shift in a bakery, earning £23 aweek — a lot for the time. He went on to make truck trailers for 33 years.
In retirement, the Feilding home became too much work for Betty and Brett so they moved to be close to family. They love living here in Tauranga.
“Brett used to get asthma and bronchitis, he doesn’t any more,” Betty says.
So what’s the secret to a long and happy marriage? “Forgiveness,” Betty says. “Forgiveness and getting onwith it. You have your hiccups but it’s amatter of getting over them.”
Brett agrees. Sticking to your vows is important too, he says.
“In sickness and in health. We’ve had both. That’swhat it’s all about.”
The pairwill be celebrating their 60thwedding anniversary at a dinner on Saturday night with family.
Brett and Betty Bartlett-Wright have been happily married for 60 years.