Diamond couple still surrounded by love

AMANDA PARKINSON
Last updated 05:00 21/08/2013
Joan and Bert McCulloch
NICOLE GOURLEY/ Fairfax NZ

LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP: Invercargill couple Joan and Bert McCulloch celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

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Contagious giggling and benevolence fill the living room of Bert and Joan McCulloch.

The couple celebrated their 6oth wedding anniversary with a seafood lunch at home yesterday.

Childhood friends, the couple started dating when Joan was 16. Bert is her one and only love. "I was the girl across the paddocks," Mrs McCulloch said.

Weekend trips to Riverton in Bert's Model A Ford wooed her.

"He had this car with curtains, the wind would whistle through and he would put his coat across my knees."

Details of the engagement are not memorable but, four years later, the couple were married.

Mr McCulloch, 82, said it was a pure "fluke" that she said yes.

Not only a loyal husband, he worked for 28 years at Tisbury Dairy Factory.

He changed careers to work as a boiler until he retired in 2001.

In between raising five children, Mrs McCulloch, 79, was busy bustling about at several local bakeries. She owned Del Ritz Bakery for four years before also retiring to stay home.

Now that they are contentedly at home together, Joan often still bakes for her husband. Her son, Wayne, and Bert agree no-one's shortbread or scones can beat Joan's.

On Saturday, the couple will have a private lunch at Club Southland, surrounded by their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

"Our family, and being surrounded by their love, is our greatest achievement," Mrs McCulloch said.

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