Norrie and Noleen mark 70 years
Around this time 70 years ago, Norrie Crawley and Noleen Mackie were a mixture of nerves and excitement as they celebrated the biggest day of their lives.
Now 70 years on, the couple have achieved something few do — their platinum wedding anniversary.
“What am I doing,” joked Norrie, asked how he was feeling before his wedding.
“I was feeling all right I think,” Noleen said. They were married at the Undenominational Church in Tikokino.
The wedding went smoothly, but the pair almost missed their honeymoon after they arrived in Waipawa too late for the train.
A helpful wedding guest delayed the train, and after a frantic drive to Waipukurau the pair got on it to their honeymoon in Auckland. The pair met at a VE day dance at the end of the war, in the Hastings Municipal Theatre.
“A foxtrot was on or something,” laughed Norrie. At the time he worked for the forest service in Gwavas Forest, while Noleen was a cook at both Gwavas Homestead and Sawyer’s Arms Hotel in Tikokino.
The couple lived in a cottage in Tikokino for four years before relocating to Waipawa, where they raised three children, Gavin, Philip and Elaine.
Norrie was working as county overseer for both Waipawa and Patangata county councils. Following the merger into CHB District Council he was works superintendent. The pair both enjoyed gardening, Norrie providing the family with vegetables, and Noleen cultivating the flower beds.
Norrie was also an excellent rugby player, leading to the loss of a few teeth and a nose broken three times.
They said it was hard to give advice to young couples in this ever-changing world, but had a few pearls of wisdom.
“You need patience, or you need tolerance really,” Noleen said.
“If one’s always right, the other is always wrong,” Norrie said. “That’s a danger.”
They were not planning any major event for their anniversary, having already had lunch with their family on the weekend.
Seventy years into the marriage, the pair now live in an apartment at a retirement village in Havelock North, and are still living relatively independently.
At 92 Norrie still enjoys getting out in the garden, even if on a smaller scale to what he used to achieve.
Noleen continues to enjoying cooking and craft work.
As well as their three children, they have six grandchildren and 11 greatgrandchildren, a testament to the 70 years they have spent together.
Norrie and Noleen Crawley celebrating their wedding anniversary.