Forget the self-help books if you are looking for the secret to a long and happy marriage - just keep it simple.
This mantra seems to have worked for three New Plymouth couples, who each celebrated 60 years of marriage on Thursday last week.
Colleen and Dick Pennington, Janice and Colin Perry and Tib and Derrick Smith all met for the first time yesterday after Mrs Smith had the idea of getting the twosomes together when she saw all three diamond anniversary notices published in Thursday's edition of the Taranaki Daily News.
"It's really put the icing on the cake," said Mrs Smith.
The couples, who had all been celebrating over the past few days with family and friends, said their enduring love for one another was key to their successful unions.
"Our love is still the same as the day we met," said Mrs Pennington, who married her husband at St Benedict's Church in Auckland in 1954.
Mrs Smith said it was also important to sort out any problems early on.
"Don't go to bed angry," the mother of two said.
Mrs Perry said being well matched to your partner was also a must.
"I also think family is important," the 81-year-old said.
All the couples said they had been well and truly spoiled over the past few days by family and friends, but the chance to meet each other through their shared marriage milestone was special.
"I thought, what a lovely idea," said Mrs Perry.
The afternoon got the thumbs up from Mr Pennington too.
"It's wonderful," he said.
Mrs Smith said her marriage had endured all the normal "ups and downs" of normal life but she would not change a thing.
Disappointments were something in short supply in the Perry and Pennington households too.
"I've no regrets, not one little bit," said Mrs Pennington.
- Taranaki Daily News
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