The Search Is On – Married 70-Plus Years

Media Release 21 November 2015
Family First NZ has been inundated with nominations for the longest living married couple in New Zealand, launched earlier this week. 

“Most of the nominations have varied between 50-plus years and the 70-plus age range. It looks like the title will ultimately go to a couple who are in the 70-plus years of marriage, although it would be a bonus to find a couple celebrating 80 years or more. The current record in the US where the concept originally began is a couple from California who had celebrated 82 years of marriage,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. 

“The previous longest marriage that we’re aware of in New Zealand is a Christchurch couple who we believe celebrated their 79th wedding anniversary before the husband passed away in 2013.”

Nominations will be taken until 15 January 2016 with the winners named on 14 February 2016 (Valentine’s Day) to coincide with National Marriage Week. Winners will be selected solely from nominations submitted. Appropriate gifts – including a family photo shoot – will be presented to them by Family First NZ at a ceremony to be held at the winner’s location during Valentine’s week.

“This is an opportunity to promote marriage and honour couples who have done the ‘hard yards’. We want to celebrate with couples who are setting the example for younger married couples just starting out,” says Mr McCoskrie. 

Nominations which are open to any married couple (either NZ citizen or NZ resident) may be submitted by email [email protected] or by posting to Family First NZ, P.O.Box 276-133, Manukau City 2241.

The contact information for sending in a nomination simply requires the name of the couple, their wedding date and where they currently reside – plus a contact phone number or email address of the individual nominating the couple.

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The secret to 71 happy years of marriage
NZ Herald 3 December 2015
Audrey and Doug Attrill have been married nearly 72 years and are in the running to be New Zealand’s longest married couple.

The pair met 77 years ago at a local park near Mrs Attrill’s home in New Plymouth. Mr Attrill ended up doubling his future wife home on his bicycle.

“I thought he was a slight little guy and I was quite a tall girl, I didn’t think that much of it but then afterwards we used to see each other around and wave to each other, that sort of thing,” Mrs Attrill told The Bay of Plenty Times yesterday.

Mrs Attrill, 90, said her beau left school and worked at the Bank of Australasia for a year before being signed to the navy in 1941.

He was drafted to a ship in the Middle East and sent the occasional telegram to Mrs Attrill. Eventually he came home and the pair were married on May 1, 1944, at the St Joseph’s Catholic Church in the King Country.

“We believed that marriage was a sacred thing and when we were married we automatically believed it was forever. We never thought of separation if things didn’t please us. A marriage is not a flash dress, a wedding cake, a big crown and a party, that is not what marriage is all about. That’s what young people think it is today. But it’s something more than that. Stick to the old values and you won’t go wrong.”

The search is on
Nominations are open to any married couple (either NZ citizen or NZ resident) and may be submitted by email [email protected] or by posting to Family First NZ, PO Box 276-133, Manukau City 2241.

Nominations will be taken until January 15, 2016 with the winners named on February 14, 2016 (Valentine’s Day) to coincide with National Marriage Week.

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