Nancy and Eric Taylor, who met 80 years ago at Pukehina School, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary yesterday with a service at the church where they had married.

Now both 91, they were both aged 21 when they tied the knot. When asked if they thought they had any idea they would one day be celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary, Mrs Taylor laughed, "Oh, no."

"She was a lovely girl," Mr Taylor said.

They spent the morning at St Andrew's Presbyterian church, right where they had married before celebrating with a family lunch.


Mr Taylor said there was not one secret to their many years of being married.

"There's nothing special about it. Just enjoy life with your family," he said.

Mrs Taylor put their long marriage and long lives down to "good living".

"We've had our ups and downs, we've been through sickness and cancer and heart attacks," she said.

They used to maintain a large vegetable garden, and were both keen athletes. Mr Taylor ran marathons and now cycles, and Mrs Taylor was a jogger.

Mrs Taylor carried the 1974 Commonwealth Games baton from Atiamuri to Taupo with others in her Te Puke Jogging Club.

Mr Taylor said one of the highlights of his life - "apart from being married" - was when he ran in the London Marathon in 1988.

The pair were hitched in 1946 on April 24, just before Mr Taylor went with the New Zealand Army to Japan. They farmed in Pukehina before moving to Te Puke in 1979. The happy couple had four children, and two of them were head students at Te Puke High School.

They have 13 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren, with their athleticism carried on by granddaughter and Olympic athlete Lisa Carrington.