Blind date of 50 years, so far

Arthur and Annette Bishop
Arthur and Annette Bishop

It's not often that blind dates work out all that well, let alone result in a marriage that has lasted 50 years, but that is how Renwick couple Arthur and Annette Bishop first met.

Annette was just 16 and Arthur 18 when her friend's boyfriend at the time brought along his buddy, Arthur, while they were living in Invercargill. The matchmaking worked and two and-a-half years later and the couple were engaged, and were married another two and-a-half years later.

The meeting almost didn't happen though.

"My friend talked me into going out, but looking back I'm glad I did," said Annette, who was born in Fairlie near Timaru before moving to Invercargill at the age of 13.

Arthur, who was born and bred in Invercargill, worked as a motor industry apprentice.

He then moved to sales where he rose through the ranks to become branch manager in Rangiora outside Christchurch and then manager of Motorcorp Rover in Christchurch.

Annette also began her career in the industry, working in the offices of a machinery sellers company. In Christchurch she ran a news agency for nine years.

"I loved running that business. We built up a great relationship with our regular customers," said Annette.

She and Arthur moved to Blenheim 14 years ago as their two children were living in the town.

"We are very lucky to be able to live so close to our children." said Arthur.

The couple loved their days in Christchurch and say they have found the devastation caused by the earthquakes difficult to witness.

Their secret to such a long and happy marriage has been to simply listen to one another, and care for each other in times of need.

The Marlborough Express