Alan and Val Watson are inseparable and an inspiration.

The Whanganui East couple celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary today with a delicious family lunch.

Exactly where they're not sure though, they said.

"It's up to the family."


When the couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary the family decided it should be written up by the Chronicle and it was.

Since then, over the past five years, they have been heading off regularly to the gym at 5.30am daily for an hour.

They both walked the treadmill, used weights and did stretching exercises. Considering they are both 84 they're pretty remarkable.

But the accolades should go to one of their sons, they say.

"He told us that exercising when you're getting older is vital and he's right."

Sadly though Alan had a fall six weeks ago, though he reckons he's well on the mend and they'll be back at the gym soon. And in the interim Val is not going to the gym either.

"We've always done everything together so we won't be changing now."

They both still laugh when they remembered how they met 65 years ago.

"Well," said Alan. "Val was marching girl from Whanganui."

"And we were competing in Lower Hutt," Val said.

While she was there Val decided to contact an aunt she had never visited.

When she knocked at the door that day Alan answered.

"I told her the woman she wanted lived next door,"Alan said.

When Val arrived next door and knocked it was Alan who answered the door again.

He had jumped over the back fence. "Well I wasn't going to let a beautiful little dolly bird like her get away was I."

They married young, they were both 19, and lived for the first few years in Lower Hutt.

"But we were never so glad to get out and move to Whanganui."

Alan and Val say they just love Whanganui and are fortunate enough to have three of their four children (two boys and two girls) living nearby.

Because they have shared their life completely the couple say they have been very lucky.

"Well, we really like each other. Always have."