Milestone for pair's unusual wedding day

Last updated 13:17 17/01/2013
Jack and Verna Stevens
BRIDGET RAILTON/Fairfax NZ
Jack and Verna Stevens, of Gore, celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary last weekend.

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It was called a "novel" wedding in 1953, and now, with 60 years of marriage together, it is still a rather novel affair.

Jack and Verna Stevens wed at the Invercargill Presbyterian Church in 1953 in a rather unusual ceremony where Jack's twin brother Thomas married Verna's sister Lillias at the same time.

The sibling event did not end there - Verna's twin sisters were in the bridal party.

"It was pretty special really," said Verna.

Now, 60 years on from their nuptials, the Stevens are celebrating their Diamond anniversary at the Gore RSA with about 60 of the Stevens' "herd".

While not all of the original wedding party is still around to celebrate the milestone, the Stevens said it would still be a good celebration.

"When we first got married, when a person got to their 40th anniversary it was like goodness they are old.

"It's hard to believe 10 years ago we had our 50th, time goes so quick," she said.

The Stevens have been in the Gore area for about 35 years.

Jack worked on the railways, finishing up in 1980 as area traffic manager, while Verna spent time working for local electric and refrigeration companies.

She was also awarded a Queen's Service Medal in September this year for her work with the RSA as a welfare officer.

The secret to their longevity is not really a secret, simply companionship, friendship and love she said.

"Everybody has their ups and downs."

Humour helps too.

"He's got the best cook and cleaner in all of Gore," she said.

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- The Southland Times

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