Sticking with it and eating well - that's the secret to a lasting marriage and a long life, according to Nellie Moran, who celebrates 70 years of marriage with husband George this week.

Mr and Mrs Moran were married at the Hastings Methodist Church on August 23, 1941, six months after Mr Moran was called up to the army.

"It was wartime," Mrs Moran said. "We were lucky he didn't go further away. He was stationed on Norfolk Island because the Japanese were expected."

Mr Moran promised her a trip to the island on his return but took 46 years to follow through. The island had changed from having just three shops to more than 30, he said. Hastings, too, has changed in the many decades they have lived in the city.


"We could go to town in years gone by and speak to almost everybody. Now we know nobody."

The couple met when Mrs Moran and her cousin spied through a window to watch a band practice, where Mr Moran was playing. "They saw us and George was one of the ones who ran out and that's how it started."

She was 24 and her new husband was 28 when they married but it was a nine-year wait for their own home as demand for houses was high after the war.

They lived with Mrs Moran's parents until they could find their own home.

In a world of frequent divorce, Mrs Moran said the secret to a lasting marriage was simple.

"Well, they don't really give it a pop before they split up," she said.

"We stuck with it, I suppose."

Friends and family celebrated with afternoon tea at the Raureka Masonic Village on Tuesday.