FOREVER AND EVER
If you ask what makes a happy marriage, everyone would probably give you a different answer. I do not believe there is a template for a successful relationship or partnership.
But after 37 years, I can tell you what a long and happy marriage means. To me, it is like a favourite armchair, comfortable and stable and familiar and warm. It is like a guide rope, leading you and steering you through life's stages, giving you a feeling of continuity and direction and being "on the right track". It is like a box of treasures, holding in its deep recesses not only a store of memories, but delights that are yet to be discovered and enjoyed together.
On Saturday, we had the joy of sharing in special celebrations of two lovely couples. In the afternoon, we gathered at the Guide Hall, where Nancy and Pete celebrated 6o very happy years of marriage. Nancy was born on Norfolk Island into an island family, and was fostered into another - so she has no shortage of relatives! And although she and Pete have lived in New Zealand for many decades, it was important for them to "come home" for this important occasion, and to be surrounded by loving and loved friends and family. And many of those family members had also made the trip from New Zealand to join in the celebration. What a beautiful example of family love and togetherness - there is no doubt that family is by far the most important institution known to mankind!
Special congratulatory messages are read from the Queen, the Governor-General of New Zealand, Prime Minister Helen Clarke and other MP's
You are never too old for romance and tenderness
Then in the evening, there was a special anniversary for Dr John and Josanne. John and Josanne have been calling Norfolk Island their second home for many years, and have made many special friends here. Two years ago, after 29 happy years, they decided to re-live their marriage ceremony and re-affirm their vows in the Chapel, followed by a special "wedding breakfast" at Branka House. And it was the second anniversary of that occasion that we celebrated on Saturday with a beautiful potluck dinner at Sheryl and Puds' place.
A toast to happiness and togetherness for John and Josanne
Thank you to our special angel of love Sheryl and her own beloved "Puds" for gathering us together to share in this warm and happy occasion.