Couple mark 70th year together

04:00, Jun 21 2012
Against the odds: Ada and Cyril Edwards are still happily married after 70 years. Ada says marriage is too casual nowadays.

The old saying 'treat 'em mean, keep 'em keen' seemed to have worked getting one Waikawa couple together - they celebrated 70 years of marriage yesterday.

Ada, 88, and her husband Cyril, 92, met during World War II on Canvey Island on the north shore of the river Thames.

Mr Edwards was a gunner in the Royal Artillery and Mrs Edwards worked as a cook.

Every morning when she left to go on duty, Mr Edwards would call out `good morning' to her as she walked past.

"I ignored him for a long time, the cheeky monkey," said Mrs Edwards. "I was too young."

Eventually she came around, with Mr Edwards travelling 60km by train to ask her parents for her hand in marriage. The couple were married in an old church in Kent, Britain, in 1942.


They moved to New Zealand in 1983 to be closer to family who lived here.

In December, Mr Edwards moved into Waterlea Rest Home, and his wife comes every Thursday to have lunch with him.

She misses not having him around, but is lucky to have such a wonderful family, she said.

"My daughter-in-law always puts a party on for our anniversary and our birthdays," she said.

"She's one in a million.

"How many people can say that?"

The secret to such a long marriage comes down to looking after each other, and enjoying your family, Mrs Edwards said.

The couple have two children, five grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Granddaughter Elisa, 37, said her grandparents were always nice to each other, and remembers her Granddad always helping out Nana whenever he could.

"Granddad would always take Nana's washing out for her," she said.

Andrea, 34, and Antony, 29, said Granddad was always off playing golf and Nana enjoyed walking and playing bowls.

"Granddad would go to golf, and drop Nana off in Picton, and she would walk to Waikawa almost every day," said Andrea.

For their 65th wedding anniversary, the Edwards talked to the Marlborough Express and when asked if it was love at first sight, Mr Edwards said it was, at least for him: "I suppose it was with me, but it was a bit of a struggle for her," he said.

The Marlborough Express