When Herbert Blum first saw his future wife, Gisela Blum, Amor's arrow struck him.

Ngongotaha's Herbert, 82, and Gisela Blum, 80, had their 60th wedding anniversary on August 31, and celebrated with about 40 friends and family at a dinner on Saturday.

The celebration took place at the Te Runanga Tea Rooms in the Government Gardens.

Gisela loves to cook and she put together the meal of beef, chicken, rice, noodles, vegetables and chocolate mousse.


She also baked a three tier cake for the occasion.

 Herbert and Gisela Blum celebrated their anniversary at the Government Gardens. Photo/Supplied
Herbert and Gisela Blum celebrated their anniversary at the Government Gardens. Photo/Supplied

The couple are used to joint celebrations, as both have their birthday on May 27.

They are both from Germany and Herbert says he had first seen Gisela on the back platform of a tram - "it was then when Amor's arrow struck me".

"I tried to keep up with my bicycle, but that pretty girl disappeared.

"Imagine my surprise when I saw her at my cousin's house."

Gisela was at Herbert's cousin's house about three months after he had seen her on the tram, and they got close, having their first date soon after.

They were married at a church in Germany on August 31 1957, Herbert aged 22 and Gisela 20.

Herbert says Gisela looked amazing - she arrived to the wedding in a white carriage drawn by white horses, in a white wedding dress with a long white veil.


Some of Gisela's advice for a long, happy marriage is to listen and talk if you have a problem.

She says Herbert also gives her a lot of compliments.

They say sometimes they compare marriage to a garden.

"If you don't water it, nothing is growing. You must have respect and love, and must make compromises."

The couple have a daughter, Ines, and son, Thomas, along with three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Ines also lives in Rotorua, while Thomas lives in Wellington.

Gisela did tailoring and was a long-time model, while Herbert was a salesman, eventually becoming the leader of a salesmen group selling copiers.

The couple have been in New Zealand for 20 years, moving in September 1997.

Gisela enjoys gardening, aqua jogging and walking at the beach. Herbert likes reading and taking photographs.

Gisela says she likes the weather in New Zealand, and goes back to Germany every two years.

Herbert says the people here are totally different, not just from Germany but Europe too.

"Here people are smiling and we had to learn to smile back."