Love survives sweet mistake
It may be the most successful blind date in history.
Rae and Don Brownlee met 55 years ago as teenagers after being set up by friends.
Mr Brownlee was perfect, aside from the chocolate that he brought her, that is.
"He was being a gentleman but it was fruit and nut chocolate which I don't like," Mrs Brownlee says.
"But I ate it to be polite."
Mr Brownlee, 72, remembers the chocolate debacle.
He denies being nervous but well and truly terrified instead - he'd never been out with a girl before.
Three years later Mr Brownlee proposed.
But this event was less memorable for the pair who can't remember when and where it happened, suffice to say the question was posed and the answer was "yes".
A wedding at New Lynn's St Thomas church followed, as did three daughters: Annette, Jocelyn and Denise.
After living out west all their lives the Brownlees now reside in Henderson and celebrate their golden wedding anniversary in June.
Fifty years hasn't quashed their romance, they say.
On Valentines Day Mr Brownlee has been known to pick a single rose from their garden and write a personalised note while Mrs Brownlee, 70, fixed the roast.
The recipe for their successful marriage is simple.
"It's about give and take," Mrs Brownlee says.
"Talk to each other, share everything and be honest."
- Western Leader
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