A Rotorua couple celebrated on their 50th wedding anniversary day, surrounded by friends and family.

Elva Baucke, 66, and Ramon Baucke, 69, celebrated the milestone with a lunch attended family and friends at the Ngongotaha Bowling Club on Saturday.

They say their children put the celebration on for them, organising it all from Auckland.

The Ngongotaha Bowling Club was where they had their wedding reception, so having the anniversary celebration there was quite unreal, the couple said.

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Ramon and Elva met during a band performance in a club in Rotorua, where Ramon was playing and Elva was in the audience.

They married when Elva was 16 and Ramon 19, with Elva saying "it just goes to prove that age doesn't come into it".

They both grew up and went to school in Rotorua, living in Auckland for a while before coming back.

They have two sons and a daughter, who all grew up in Rotorua too.

Ramon worked in the timber industry and Elva in the food industry when she wasn't bringing up the children.

They have 17 grandchildren and say watching their achievements, including gaining their university degrees has been a highlight.

Elva does hand crafts, crocheting items such as baby's clothes and slippers for the local market, and music is Ramon's hobby.

He says he has played bass guitar all his life up until about three years ago.

They say important things that contribute to a long and happy marriage include patience, and honesty to yourself and your partner.

"All the marriages that last are the ones that learn to say 'yes dear' early".