Pair wed on eve of Valentines Day

23:00, Feb 13 2013
Josie Williams And Bill Williams
A LIFE TOGETHER: Josie and Bill Williams have been married 53 years. Unable to get married on Valentines Day, they celebrated their anniversary yesterday.

For Josie Williams it is easy to remember what day of the week in 1960 was Valentines Day - it was a Sunday.

The day before, on February 13, she had married Bill Williams. Yesterday the couple celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary.

"You couldn't get married on a Sunday back in those days," Mrs Williams said.

Mrs Williams said the couple were not disappointed at missing out on Valentines Day as an anniversary date. What they had missed out on the day after their wedding was a honeymoon.

At the time of their wedding the Williamses were living in Upper Cuba St, Wellington, above a bakery they owned.

They were back to work on Valentines Day in 1960.


"[At] 7am the next morning Josie was downstairs in the bake house helping me make sausage rolls," Mr Williams said.

More than two decades later they finally did get that honeymoon, travelling to Taranaki.

The couple lived in Wellington for many years, during which time they owned several cafes and bakeries before selling up and moving to Levin, where they ran a business for five or six years.

They moved to Palmerston North, where they had a cafe on Rangitikei St before moving to Feilding and then back to the city where they have an apartment at Summerset Retirement Village.

Life as a baker required long hours of work at night, Mr Williams said. His wife helped with accounting, deliveries, baking and other tasks, as well as caring for their children.

Mrs Williams said the need to work together to keep their businesses running was part of why their relationship had been so strong.

"I think we're so used to working together and having to work together that it's sort of developed our relationship."

The couple have three children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

"All three kids can bake, I'm useless," Mrs Williams said.

"If I'm cooking scones and throw them out, even the birds don't look at them."

Laughing, Mr Williams corrected her. "That's not true, they wait for it to rain; it softens the scones up."

Manawatu Standard