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Sixty years later . . . Waikaka Valley couple Jim and Jeanette McIntyre celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary this week. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

When Jeanette Cross said “I do” to Jim McIntyre she knew which side of her bread was buttered, because her husband to be was a good cook.

The Waikaka Valley couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary yesterday.

Mrs McIntyre said her husband was one of three brothers who were taught how to cook.

“He had no sisters and his mother made sure they knew what to do,” Mrs McIntyre said.

However, cooking was just one of the domestic talents Mr McIntyre had.

“The boys all knew basically how to cook, how to sew on a button, how to wash their clothes.”

Later Mr McIntyre passed those skills on.

“The kids tell me I taught them to cook,” Mr McIntyre said.

“They always say ’cause mother was never home’,” Mrs McIntyre said.

Mr McIntyre was also a dab hand with knitting needles.

“I knitted jerseys for all my grandchildren,” Mr McIntyre said.

“I even got one and he knitted for himself,” Mrs McIntyre said.

The couple met at an Easter bible class camp which many young people in Eastern Southland attended.

Mrs McIntyre was about 15.

“He’s much older than me of course.

“He was one of the seniors.

“I don’t ever remember the first time we met, but we were just part of that crowd of young people.”

When the camps started being held at the newly built Camp Columba at Pukerau in 1959, Mr McIntyre was one of the first cooks and Mrs McIntyre helped.

Many of their friends had met their partners at the camps and were still together.

“They made good glue back then,” she said.

The couple started going out about a year later, once Mrs McIntyre left school.

“There [were] balls and there [were] Saturday night dances and young farmers’ club balls. All sorts of balls all through the winter in particular .. that was your social life, [and] occasionally going to the movies.”

The couple were married at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, in Gore, by the reverend David Vaughan who was Mrs McIntyre’s cousin.

Mrs McIntyre said they had a mixture of interests they did together, but also some they did separately.

“As long as you can trust the person,” Mr McIntyre said.

Their different interests have taken them throughout New Zealand; Mr McIntyre with his interest in dog trialling and sheep breeding and Mrs McIntyre with her involvement in Rural Women New Zealand.

“I’ve been all over New Zealand with either a dog or a sheep,” Mr McIntyre said.

“We didn’t go on holiday unless there was a sheep or a dog involved,” Mrs McIntyre said.

Perseverance was also important in a relationship, they agreed.

“You make things work,” Mrs McIntyre said.