Golden opportunity to catch up

01:05, Apr 03 2014
Les and Dorothy Boyd, centre, on their wedding day in 1964. They are seeking William Brown, far left.

An English couple heading to New Zealand for their 50th wedding anniversary are on a mission to track down their best man, who was last known to be living in Palmerston North.

Dorothy and Les Boyd, originally of Sunderland in the north-east of England, were married on September 26, 1964.

Now living in Adelaide, Australia, they are planning a holiday to New Zealand later this year to celebrate their anniversary, and hope to trace the best man at their wedding. whom they lost touch with after he emigrated here. When the Boyds last heard from William (Bill) Brown in 1991, he was living in the Palmerston North area.

golden wedding
MEMORY LANE: Les and Dorothy Boyd are heading to New Zealand to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary later this year, and find their best man.

"We have never forgotten him and have often wondered what has happened to him over the past 20-odd years," Dorothy said.

Les and Bill became friends in 1957 when they both started work as apprentices at a shipyard in Sunderland.

After the wedding, Bill moved around England for work, but still kept in touch with the Boyds.


"He used to turn up at our house with just his toothbrush in his pocket looking to stay for a while," Dorothy said.

"We would get an update on his latest job movements and girlfriends."

When their son was born in 1968, they chose Bill to be godfather.

Shortly after, Bill met a girl named Liz, who was planning to move to New Zealand.

"Sometime during 1969 he turned up at our house and announced that he had given up his job and had bought a one-way ticket to New Zealand," Dorothy said.

"That was the last we heard from him until about 1991, when once again he turned up on our doorstep to visit."

Bill had married Liz and had two sons, and was in the United Kingdom visiting family.

But he forgot to leave a forwarding address, and they fell out of contact. In 2009, Dorothy and Les retired to Australia to live near their daughter.

They are hoping someone in New Zealand will know of Bill so they can meet up on their holiday - "but knowing him, he could be anywhere", Dorothy said.

"We would just love to turn up on his doorstep with our toothbrushes in hand."

CAN YOU HELP? Do you know Bill Brown? Contact the Manawatu Standard at or call 06 350 9838.

Manawatu Standard