Milestone for ‘lucky’ couple

SHARE

Max and Zelma Caldwell did not want a fuss for their 65th wedding anniversary.

But surrounded by family and friends, including their full wedding party from 1954, it was certainly an occasion deserving of a celebration recently.

Mr and Mrs Caldwell met at a dance at the Scottish Hall in Oamaru in 1950.

Mr Caldwell asked 19-year-old Zelma Butwell to dance – and “the rest is history”, she said.

They married at St Luke’s Anglican Church in Oamaru, on February 6, 1954, and a reception at the Star and Garter restaurant followed.

Their wedding photograph is one of many among the collection of photos on the walls of the Oamaru restaurant.

On the morning of their wedding day, a thunderstorm hit Oamaru.

“I thought ‘oh no’, but, by 2 o’clock when we got married, it was a beautiful day – we were lucky, very lucky,” Mrs Caldwell said.

young farming couple moved south to a sheep farm at Merino Downs, just out of Gore, where they lived for two years before moving to Arthurton.

Mr and Mrs Caldwell had two children, David Caldwell, of Oamaru, and Diane Robinson, of Lawrence.

In 1991, they retired and returned home to Oamaru.

Reflecting on 65 years of marriage, Mrs Caldwell put their success down to their easy-going personalities.

“We’re very laid-back.”

As well as celebrating their wedding anniversary, guests raised a glass to Mr Caldwell’s good health for his 90th birthday on February 14.

Their wedding party of bridesmaids Joy Robertson and Joan Johnston and groomsmen Lyall and Avon Caldwell had remained in close contact over the past 65 years, but it was very special to have everyone gathered together last weekend, Mrs Caldwell said.

“We’re lucky,” she said.