As battle raged in the skies above London 75 years ago today, Rotorua couple John and Maisie Bond tied the knot.
Mr and Mrs Bond's rare milestone was marked yesterday with a family lunch with their two boys, Anthony and Paul, now senior citizens themselves, who had come to Rotorua for the weekend to help their parents celebrate their 75th anniversary.
Mr Bond said as the couple left the church after taking their wedding vows they looked up to see a Spitfire attacking a German Messerschmitt ME109 in the skies above them.
"Then we heard the pitter-patter of shell casings landing on the ground around us, it was during the Battle of Britain and a quite common occurrence," he said.
Just a month later the little church was destroyed by German bombs.
The small service was attended by Mrs Bond's (nee Lindridge) mother, father, grandmother and young niece. Mr Bond's parents had moved to New Zealand by that time and his best man was his friend Arthur Palfreyman.
The 24-year-old Mr Bond was in the Royal Air Force and had just been promoted to Flying Officer and was working on new technology that would help protect England during its darkest hours - radar - while Mrs Bond, 21, was working as secretary for the Clerk of the Kesteven County Council in Lincolnshire.
Their wedding cake "was a funny little thing" with just six sultanas in it and "the icing ran away from the knife when we cut through it", Mr Bond said.
"There were air raids all the time and we had no coupons to spend on fancy clothes or a lavish meal, but we did have six days for our honeymoon in a lovely little township in Berkshire," Mrs Bond said.
Mr Bond, 99, and Mrs Bond, 96, say they have rarely fought or argued in their 75 years of marriage and said the key to a happy life was a number of little things - never going to bed angry with each other, talking things out sensibly, listening to each other's concerns, not worrying about the little things and compromise.
"It's about give and take. We don't always agree but there's no point going to bed angry. You make up and get back into life the next day," Mrs Bond said.
"We've had a great deal of fun over our 75 years, it's been a quite interesting life."
"It was a genuine love match and that was it, and we have never felt any different," Mr Bond said.
"It wasn't easy in the first few years during the war, but being an officer made it easier because I did not have to stay on base all the time. Maisie got used to being an Air Force wife in the end," he said.
The couple said they were still very happy together, and had been for a long time.
"Not many will achieve 75 years. We are still not taking any medications, we only need specs to read and we both are licensed to drive."
"I couldn't think of anyone else I'd rather have spent 75 years with," Mrs Bond said.
John and Maisie's tips for a successful marriage:
-Never go to bed angry with each other
-Talk things out sensibly
-Listen to each other
-Try not to worry about the little things