Romance blossomed for Ray Heappey and Olga Flavell when he helped her wash the dishes at the Tokoroa tea rooms.
She was drawn to his cheeky nature and sense of humour.
He thought she was ''real looker''.
Fate had intervened as Olga, who was an office worker, was only lending a hand herself that day.
They would marry on November 18, 1950.
On Saturday the couple, now aged 93 and 88, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary at the Tauranga Citizens Club surrounded by family and friends. A further toast will be raised today - their official big day.
Ray says the secret to a happy marriage is simple.
''You fight and argue and when it's all over you make love and that's it.''
Ray also jokes, ''after 70 years you get deaf''.
''You grin and bear it. You take what you get and make the best of it.''
The Heappeys have enjoyed a happy family life and marked several milestones along the way.
They have five children, Micheal, Janette, Christine, Bruce and Keith. Ray worked hard as a builder, opening his own company in Hamilton which operated for 50 years.
He estimates he built about 70 houses during his career and he completed work for high-profile businessmen such as Sir Bob Jones and the late Sir Ron Brierley.
Olga held the fort at home and took an active interest in all the children's activities, with a particular focus on sport, which they all excelled in.
But football reigned supreme and she quickly became the manager of her boys' football teams. She rose to greater heights, managing the Waikato under-16 representative team.
A highlight was taking home the Rose Bowl - and being the first woman manager to accomplish that.
''I had two sons in the team. We used to travel all over the place and it was not unusual for the team to join us for lunch. I used to make them a big pot of soup and rice pudding - that was their favourite.''
Family times were important to the Heappeys and they shared many fond memories of holidays and playing cards and board games.
Daughter Christine says she has wonderful parents whose door is open regardless of the circumstances.
''We could have been up to mischief or causing mayhem but they are always here. They have been - and continue to be - a strong presence in all of our lives.''
She says they only had two rules.
''All of us had to get a job or a profession before we left school - and we have done that.''
The Heappeys have lived in Tauranga for the past 20 years, and settled at Pāpāmoa before moving into the city.
Both agree it was the beach, the sunshine and the friendly community that lured them over from the Waikato. Plus, it was a great place to retire.
Every Wednesday at 2.30pm Ray and two friends go to the Citizens Club for a beer and a few bets.
"We're known as the three musketeers and they know I like Lion Red," Ray says.
Olga will often meet him there for dinner but their association with the club runs deeper than that.
The Heappeys organise two bus trips a year for 40 people to go to the races, which is considered a major highlight for many members.
That has taken the place of bowls, where they both held president positions and helped run other activities.
The twilight years have been kind to Ray and Olga, who also like nothing better than family gatherings and a game of cards.
''You should hear the stories,'' Christine laughs, ''especially after a few wines''.