For Napier couple Jeff and Dawn Laurent married life has been a wonderful journey.
A wonderful journey of 75 years on March 3 — for they married in St Patrick's Church in Munroe St back in 1945, having met a couple of years earlier at a dance in the Foresters' Hall in Dickens St.
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They had locked eyes at the dance and that was that — their future together was sealed.
Although Dawn once said that there had been no real romantic proposal to speak of
"He just told me we were going to get married and I agreed."
She was 18 and Jeff was 20 when they walked down the aisle.
And through the years and decades they continued to devotedly walk on together.
"We have had many pleasant times, we have a wonderful, wonderful family," Dawn said.
"When we get together we just have fun — we are a close family — the kids are close."
They were clearly made for each other and Dawn said it was all the little things that kept their relationship strong.
Like a good laugh. "He's got a great sense of humour, we laugh all right, we grizzle too but we have some laughs."
She said Jeff had always been helpful and considerate — always been there.
After all their seven children had left home, and Jeff retired from the logging business, they learned to adapt to life without them.
As Deborah, one of their seven children said, their parents had a huge sense of family "and our loyalty to each other was a given".
"We all played sport, danced, skated and one played the piano and we all went to mass on Sundays — Mum was a terrific dressmaker so we girls always had a new dress for the A&P Show people's day".
She said Sunday was always a big day at home, with a roast dinner at noon, cold meat scones and sponge cake for Sunday tea.
"And we could each take turns at inviting a friend."
Jeff was a great backyard engineer and he built a three-quarter midget race car, and was one of the foundation members of the HB Midget Car Racing Club.
With a tin of cake a thermos of tea the family would all go out and watch him race in his number 5 midget racer.
"He was a star — the older kids even got to have a drive."
There was often a speedway party held at their house, and Deborah said they had always been, and still were, "exceptional hosts".
"Our parents worked hard but we always had fun, and a family life."
Dawn has a colourful philosophy about married life, reckoning that if husband and wife always agreed it meant there was only one brain functioning.
She said they had sometimes argued but at the end of the day never went to bed angry.
Now they have reached their diamond/gold anniversary, having journeyed through life since their very first 'paper' anniversary for 74 more devoted years.
Jeff is 95 and Dawn is 93, and they still live happily together in the house they moved into 70 years ago, and will be celebrating their 75th at a big family gathering there on the Saturday of March 7.