It started with a spark at a wedding

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Diamond milestone. . . Gore couple Tom (82) and Margaret Osborne (79) who celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary today look at the photo graph taken on their wedding day. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

After the groomsman from Gore met his cousin’s bridesmaid the night before the wedding no-one else had a chance.

Last week, about 62 years later, the couple, Tom and Margaret Osborne, celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

Mrs Osborne (nee Todd) said she was aged about 17 and working at a Timaru rest-home with Mr Osborne’s cousin.

“She asked me to be her bridesmaid.”

The attraction between them started the night before the wedding when the bride introduced Mr Osborne to the woman who was going to be his partner in the bridal party.

“We just sort of clicked,” Mr Osborne said.

As the wedding celebrations ended the next day the pair left together.

“She had a partner for the do at night but she didn’t go home with him,” Mr Osborne said.

“It never turned into a argument or a fist fight or anything,” Mrs Osborne said.

The next day Mr Osborne’s family held a get-together and he invited Mrs Osborne to go.

Mr Osborne drove home to McNab, near Gore, where he was working on his father’s farm.

The pair started writing to each other and about six weeks later he turned up on her doorstep.

Mrs Osborne had plans that evening to go to the movies with her work friends.

She answered the door with “what do you want?”

“I didn’t even know he was coming up.

“Mum said ‘ ooh, that sounded dreadful’.”

The couple spent the evening together and that was the start of their courting, they said.

It used to take him four and a-half hours to drive to Timaru, Mr Osborne said.

“I was backwards and forwards, up and down the road.

“I still like driving.”

“They say love is blind,” Mrs Osborne said.

Later he asked her to travel to Gore for his 21st party.

“I didn’t know there was anything south of Timaru,” Mrs Osborne said.

In those days men could get casual work on the Timaru wharf and sometimes when he could be spared from farm work, Mr Osborne would spend up to 10 days working there.

After two years the couple married when Mr Osborne was 22 and Mrs Osborne 19.

When they first married they worked on the McNab farm but later moved to Waipahi.

In 1990 they moved to a smaller block at Croydon and Mr Osborne started selling real estate.

They also bought Shoe Biz, a Gore retail business.

Teamwork was important to the success of their marriage, they said.

“It’s working together,” he said.

“We’ve always worked together,” she said.

The couple have four children, 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.