Betty and Brett 60 years mar­ried

Bay News - - FRONT PAGE - By Re­becca Mauger news@baynews.co.nz

‘ In sick­ness and in health. We’ve had both. That’s what it’s all about.’’

Brett Bartlett-Wright

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.

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