Christchurch earthquake: Devoted couple vow to remain at home

Bert and Pat Archbold have been married almost 77 years. Photo / Supplied
Bert and Pat Archbold have been married almost 77 years. Photo / Supplied

Bert and Pat Archbold are in their 90s, nearly blind and are living without water or power, but they are refusing to leave their Christchurch home.

The elderly couple have been married for nearly 77 years and have had 14 children together - the eldest of whom is 76 years old.

"I met him when I was 13 and I still love him. I think the world of him," Mrs Archbold told Close Up.

The couple were apart when the quake struck on Tuesday last week - Mr Archbold was out and his wife was at home frightened and worrying about him.

"I was in the car with my son and it just went zoom and boom, like someone had hit us from behind," Mr Archbold said.

"I feel very lucky.

"My son has lost his house and another one was telling me they were in the house and it split in two."

The couple and their house survived the quake but they have been left without power and water, Mrs Archbold said.

"We've got no phone or nothing, we've only got a little wee radio there ... we've got the torch and that's all we've got, otherwise it's pitch-black."

Mr Archbold said he wants to get the power turned back on so his wife can start to cook them dinner again.

"My wife's a very good cook. I get the things ready and she switches it on," he said.

The couple refuse to move to a resthome, so their children bring over gas bottles and cook soup for the pair.

One of their sons, Neil, helped to repair the couple's home, cleared it of sludge caused by liquefaction and disposed of their goldfish which died during the quake.

"I think the world of my family, I really do," Mrs Archbold said.

Soon the couple will celebrate their 77th wedding anniversary, which they are both looking forward to.

"We stay together; we die together," Mr Archbold said.

- NZ Herald

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