Celebrating 70 wonderful years

IN LOVE: Blenheim man George Wastney still loves his wife, Molly, just as much as he did when they married 70 years ago.
IN LOVE: Blenheim man George Wastney still loves his wife, Molly, just as much as he did when they married 70 years ago.

The spark is still very much alive for Blenheim couple George and Molly Wastney who celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary today.

The couple marked seven decades of marriage with family on Queen's Birthday weekend and had a morning tea at their church, Wesley Methodist Church, on Sunday.

They had received congratulatory letters from the Queen, Prime Minister John Key, Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, and Kaikoura MP Colin King.

Mrs Wastney, 91, said they were delighted to have reached such a milestone.

"We are very happy. We've had lots of celebrations. We've always done things together . . . we've had a lot of fun.

"We never thought we would get this far . . . it's been great."

The couple wed in 1944 at St John's Methodist Church in Nelson and Mr Wastney, 91, vows "I still love her just as much as I did then".

The couple have been through a lot together and have had a great time along the way, he said.

Born just 13 days apart, they first met when they were 16-year-olds on the same school bus - he went to Nelson College and she went to Nelson College for Girls.

Their love grew and they married aged 22, right before Mr Wastney was shipped off to fight in World War II.

"I was in the navy during the war so for our first 18 months we were separated because I was at sea. But after that, I came home and we brought our first home."

An electrician by trade, Mr Wastney was the breadwinner, while Mrs Wastney took care of their four children - Peter, Jeffory, Raewyn and Meryl - cooked, cleaned and looked after their home. His trade did not come without its perks.

One of their most memorable times together was a trip to Bali, when he was asked to install generators at a new church in Blimbingsari.

"We went two weeks early so we could travel around the island for the first week. It was great," Mrs Wastney said.

They have travelled to many places together, including Europe, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the United States.

When the travelling days were over, they decided to make the move over the hill to Blenheim, where they have lived since 2007.

"We gave up driving when we turned 90. We get around on our scooters now. We scoot everywhere," Mrs Wastney said.

They now enjoy spending time with their family, which includes 12 grandchildren.

The Marlborough Express