Bruce and Beverley Burgess: 60 years together

By Betty Jeeves

After meeting at a dance in Stratford, Bruce Burgess and Beverley Gibb found their life partners, became engaged six months later and married a year after that on August 11, 1951.
The couple had four sons, Geoff, Steve, Paul and Neil.
Today, their family are taking them to Volare Restaurant to celebrate their milestone anniversary.
When they met, Mrs Burgess worked as a clerk for McCutcheon and Co fruit and produce merchants, while Mr Burgess was a welder working on Waikato dams.
"I was very keen on riding horses and helped at Riding for the Disabled in Rotorua. I really enjoyed that and working with the children," Mrs Burgess said.
The couple were keen motorcyclists, Mr Burgess rode from 1950.
"It was a consuming hobby for years. We did trail bike rides in the forests with the Rotorua Motorcycle Club. It was a great time," Mr Burgess said.
While in the motorcycle club, Mr Burgess, who had 175cc, 250cc and 500cc bikes, was also motocross inclined, setting out courses as well as helping at meetings.
"We had a big track there and about 50 people at each meeting. We were heavily involved," Mr Burgess said.
The club made him a life member.
"Bev rode on the back of my trail bike to Christchurch from Stratford at one stage," Mr Burgess said.
Mrs Burgess adds with a laugh, "I rode my own bike the next year. We've had lots of fun working together. We're a team."
The couple moved to Tauranga 16 years ago and belong to the Greerton Senior Citizens Club where they enjoy playing indoor bowls twice a week.


Mr Burgess won the singles championships this year despite the fact he has macular degeneration, which affects his sight.
"It's sort of instinctive, it's good fun. We enjoy doing things together and have always done so," he said.
They also walk, are as fit as fiddles and their looks belie their ages. Mrs Burgess is 79 and Mr Burgess 84.
"We've had the usual ups and downs, everybody does, but generally marriage has been very good. We'd do it again. It seems incredible when you look back at that number of years," Mr Burgess smiles.
"We've always been good friends. We've been lucky in our families and we all get on with our daughters-in-law. And we always kiss goodnight, we don't go to bed on a tiff," Mrs Burgess said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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