‘‘Time goes pretty quickly.’’
Especially when you are in love.
Neville and Thelma Simpson celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in Oamaru last Friday with an afternoon tea.
Friends and family gathered at Oamaru Public Hospital, where Mr Simpson was a patient.
The couple had vaguely known each other at school, with Mr Simpson (94) attending Waitaki Boys’ High School and Mrs Simpson, nee Malcolm (93), Waitaki Girls’ High School — but they met properly through the dances that were held ‘‘back in those days’’, Mrs Simpson said.
They married at St Paul’s Church in Oamaru in 1952 and lived out on their Tokarahi farm for 47 years before retiring to Oamaru in the early 2000s.
Both were heavily involved in the community throughout their lives.
Mr Simpson had a strong passion for harness racing, he said.
‘‘I was on the committee [for] Oamaru Harness Racing [Club] for over 50 years, and I worked for Harness Racing New Zealand for about 30-odd years.’’
They bred the horses on their farm, just as his father had done before him, and their son would be the driver, he said.
‘‘He had a wee few wins.’’
Mr Simpson was also involved in the establishment of the Tokarahi Golf Club in 1967, where he was now a life member, as well as being a life member of North Otago Vintage Machinery Club, and the Oamaru Harness Racing Club.
He also drove the Iona Home and Hospital van for ‘‘about 15 years’’.
Mrs Simpson took up croquet when they shifted to Oamaru.
‘‘I used to play golf out at Tokarahi, but I got a bit weary . . . so I went into croquet.’’
Together the couple had three children, five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.