Marriage a ‘fantastic’ journey

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For most people sixty years together is a long time, for Olwyn and Ray Gibb it felt like only yesterday that they met.

Mr and Mrs Gibb, who will celebrate their diamond anniversary tomorrow said they were still enjoying each others company.

“It’s been a fantastic journey and we hope it continues for years to come,” Mr Gibb said.

The couple first met playing table tennis at Frasers and Mr Gibb had an instant liking for his future wife.

“I saw her for the first time and fell for her straight away, I couldn’t take my eyes off her,” he said.

After dating for a few years years they were married at the St Paul Church in Oamaru on December 4, 1954 with the reception held at the Star in Garter.

On Saturday they will have a celebration at the Star and Garter sixty years on from where they cut their cake, with a photo of that moment still on the wall in the restaurant.

“It’s nice to have something to look back on,” she said.

The couple have lived in their Maudes Rd house since they were married even though it was only half done when they moved in.

Mrs Gibb, was born in Dunedin but moved to Oamaru with her parents when they bought a grocer on Ribble St, while Mr Gibb has been in Oamaru his whole life attending Oamaru North School and Waitaki Boys’ High School before leaving school at 16 to work in the post shop before taking up a career as a builder.

Both have a love for birds and have spent years together travelling around the country judging at various bird shows.

“We’ve been all over New Zealand from right up the top of New Zealand all the way down to Invercargill in Southland.”

At their home they have a range of birds they look after which are Ringncek Parrots, Lizard Canaries, Bengalese Finches and Zebra Finches, as well as some poultry birds.

To go with this they also looked after the bird aviaries in the Oamaru Gardens for about 25 years.

Back in her day Mrs Gibb was a former North Otago athletics champion and competed against sprint champ Shirley Hardman, and discus thrower Yvette Williams in Dunedin and came runner up to them at national meets.

Table tennis was a big hit between the two and although Mr Gibb claimed the bragging rights between the two both were North Otago men’s and women’s champions.

They’ve lived a busy life and loved every minute of it.

“We wouldn’t change anything,” Mrs Gibb said.

Many couples would love to be life members of any group they are part of, however Mr and Mrs Gibb are life members of 13 different groups and organisations and also received a citizens award four years ago.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY – Long-time Oamaru residents Ray and Olwyn Gibb celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary tomorrow. Mr Gibb holds a photo of them judging at a poultry show in Nelson some years ago. Mrs Gibb holds some of her athletics medals from her days as an athlete.