One kiss began 70 blissful years

By Ruth Keber

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Laurie and Yvonne Maber are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary today. PHOTO/RUTH KEBER
Laurie and Yvonne Maber are celebrating their platinum wedding anniversary today. PHOTO/RUTH KEBER

Every evening Laurie Maber turns to his wife, Yvonne and gives her a good night kiss, a cuddle and tells her he loves her. A ritual he does every night, even after 70 years of marriage.

The couple were married in the Morrinsville Methodist Church on this day in 1944.

They first met at the Mangateparu dance in 1938.

Mr Maber, now 92, said they had been dancing together throughout the evening and he asked her parents if he could drive Yvonne home.

"I had my father's car, so I took her home and I kissed her and thought, 'wow, this is someone different'.

"So we took it from there. We were both stuck."

At the time Mr Maber was a mechanic in the Royal New Zealand Air Force and was posted overseas in Guadalcanal with the Number 3 Squadron.

"So we parted, that is all there was to it. But she was a marvellous girl and wrote me letters. She gave me beautiful letters. Two a week. It kept me going."

Mr Maber said he was away for four and half years but as soon as he found out he would not be serving any longer, he proposed to Yvonne.

Mr and Mrs Maber have three boys, Geoff, Keith and Murray, five grandchildren and 11 great- grandchildren.

In 1946, Mr Maber established Maber Motors, selling and servicing tractors and machinery in Morrinsville, something he would have never done without the help of his wife.

"Matter of fact, she got me the agency for the tractors. She saw an ad in the paper. They were looking for a dealer (and) I said I wasn't remotely interested but unbeknown to me she wrote away and talked me into it and we made a fortune."

Mr Maber was also mayor of Morrinsville for one term in 1971 where he said his wife "really shone" organising community gatherings and events.

The pair had such a strong marriage because of their ability to communicate properly, Mr Maber said.

"We haven't had a row yet. It's communication; if we ever did have a blow up at all, we certainly made sure we were all clarified before we went to bed."

Mr Maber said his wife was thoughtful, looking after their severely handicapped son, Murray, for 60 years.

Mr Maber said the pair had never put a big emphasis on their anniversaries but celebrated the 13th of each month.

The couple enjoy walks around Fergusson Park and their garden. "We still have got quite a while to go yet," he said with a twinkle in his eye.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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