Couple's bond still strong after 74 years of marriage video

Murray Wilson/stuff.co.nz

Feilding couple Cyril and Beryl Norris have just celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary

A lot has changed in 74 years, but not the love one Manawatu couple have for each other.

Cyril and Beryl Norris, from Feilding, quietly celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary last week.

Cyril thought the secret to their long marriage was fairly simple; "keep a sense of humour ... don't let arguments get out of hand, and don't argue about money".

Feilding couple Cyril and Beryl Norris have just celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary.
Murray Wilson/ Fairfax NZ

Feilding couple Cyril and Beryl Norris have just celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary.

Although, you just can't be sure about these things, he said.

Read More: New Zealand's longest married couple celebrate 100th birthdays

They met at a "six penny hop" in rural England, two weeks after World War II broke out.

Cyril had been sent to Beryl's village from Dartford, just outside of London, to help set up ammunition depots.

Beryl said she saw this "handsome, intelligent, city man" amidst all the country lads and decided she'd stick with him. And so she did, for 77 years.

The pair moved to New Zealand in 1953, the year of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation, spending their last £700 on booking passage.

All they and their two children had was their clothes and some bed linen, and from there they've built a great life, Cyril said.

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"We've just generally enjoyed our life, we've been lucky that the years have treated us kindly."

Their family has grown and now they have seven grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchilden, and the couple are still active in their mid-90s.

Cyril only recently had to give up his driver's licence, but every Tuesday they catch a ride with a friend and  head to Manchester House for a social morning of talking and games with 15 friends.

They were married on June 27, 1942, shortly before Cyril was to join the war effort as a Royal Air Force navigator. 

"We had three years of married life, then we said goodbye at a railway station as I headed out to Wales [for deployment]."

Their son was born around then, but Cyril didn't see him until he was already 3 years old.

"It was hard the first few month back, we were like strangers again. But we had a boy and that helped," Cyril said.

That was the first and only time the couple have ever been apart, they said.

Beryl said that getting to know each other, and choosing each other twice in such different circumstances might just be part of the strength of their marriage.

 - Stuff

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