A bit of cheekiness and good dancing.

This combination started 66 years of romance between Ervine and Jennifer Timperley.

Mrs Timperley, then Jennifer Sinclair, had just moved to Parua Bay.

Mr Timperley spotted her in the car as her father drove past. He thought she was pretty attractive so told his dad he should invite the family to his sister Erleen's 21st birthday at the Parua Bay Hall.


"A bit cheeky eh?," Mr Timperley said "I asked her for a dance."

"He was a good dancer, much better than I was," said Mrs Timperley.

Today the couple celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary - 60 years of marriage.

Mrs Timperley was 15 when they first met and Mr Timperley 17. He had a motorbike and took her out on a few dates which included going to dances regularly, visiting the beach and playing tennis.

"I used to deliver the mail so I used to see her quite frequently. She had an excuse to come out and get the mail," he said.

The pair, now 80 and 82, dated for six years before Mr Timperley popped the question.

About a year later, on April 22 1957 - Easter Monday, the couple got married at the Anglican Church in Whangarei.

Mrs Timperley was ready on time but was late to the wedding.

"They thought you shouldn't arrive on time the bride is always late. So they drove round and round the block until I was late."

Mrs Timperley said she didn't believe the day would come.

"He was an old fashioned guy with old morals. Even now when we walk along the road he has to stand on the road side so I don't get mud on my skirt," Mrs Timperley said.

Two years later the pair had their daughter Robyn and their son Roy was born in 1962. They're now grandparents to six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

The couple farmed all around Northland and still own stock now.

"He won't stop farming until they bring him out in the box," Mrs Timperley said.

It wasn't uncommon for people to meet at dances when Mr and Mrs Timperley were teenagers. But they are not so sure about people meeting online today.

"It's terrible. It's not sociable. To me it's not on. But as Jen said, I'm a bit old fashioned," Mr Timperley said.

"We liked to meet somebody and get to know them a bit when you go out with them, because who knows what they're like," she said.

So what's the secret to 60 years of marriage?

"Always put the other one first and don't look at anyone else. And don't hold grudges," Mrs Timperley said.

"Have common sense, a bit of patience and co-operation," Mr Timperley added.