They have never had a “terrible argument”, say the couple who said “I do” in 1950
Mataura’s Stan and Mary White celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last month.
Mrs White said the couple did have differences of opinion from time to time.
“That’s not a real out shouting match – don’t do that.
“We don’t have any terrible arguments.”
Their Christian faith had provided them with principles to help them get along, they said.
“Give and take,” Mrs White said.
“Sharing with each other,” Mr White said.
While they enjoyed spending time together, each had different interests which they took part in.
Mrs White was a keen gardener and Mr White owned a traction engine.
Mrs White grew up on a farm near Tuturau but often on a Friday night came down to the picture theatre in Mataura where Mr White was an usher.
They must have been aware of each other, because one night when Mrs White rang her mother after the movie finished, Mr White poked his head in the door of the telephone box.
“I thought, ‘by gosh this is my chance’.”
“I’ll go and see how long they’re going to be with the phone.”
“I wasn’t going to ring anyone.”
However, it was a trip they both took to see the movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in Gore which started their relationship.
“It was something about the film and the person you were sitting beside,” Mr White said.
He knew other girls but did not have a girlfriend before Mrs White.
“Mary was the only girlfriend I took a fancy to.
“I think it was because she was a farm girl and a good cook.”
Their first date was at the top of Mrs White’s parents’ farm.
Mr White had sent a message to her via his sister that he would meet her on Saturday afternoon at the top gate.
To his surprise, as he was riding his motorbike up the road he saw his future wife walking up the paddocks.
“Sometimes people say something and you don’t know whether it is going to work out or not.”
The pair went for a ride up the road to a lookout point.
“We stopped there and talked,” he said
The couple married about two years later when Mrs White was 19.
After a while Mr White sold the motorbike and bought a car.
“Motorbikes were a little bit windy and cold at the time,” he said
They lived across the road from a section Mrs White’s parents had bought them for a wedding present while Mr White built the home where they have lived since.