A love story: 50 years strong


When reader Jo contacted us about her parents’ love story, we were so excited – it’s not every day you get to feature a couple who are 50 years into their marriage and still going strong!

Happy 50th Anniversary to John and Barbara McPherson.

John and Barbara are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this year after meeting at work so many years ago, with plenty of happy memories under their belt (or perhaps under their wedding bands). We sat down for a chat with Barbara to get some advice on marriage from those who know it best…

How did you meet?

John and I met when I joined the National Bank at George and Hershel Street (which is no longer there). He was a teller, but later went to Country Service and I was moved to Queen Street until we married – married women weren’t allowed to be in banking service back then.

How did you know you wanted to marry each other?

We were quite young, but we knew we wanted to marry as we laughed a lot together, loved the same things, and were attracted to each other. In those days, there was a lot left until after marriage, so if you felt things that way then a wedding was the answer!

What did you feel on the wedding day?

On the day of our wedding, I wrote in my journal that I was so confident and very happy. I still have that journal!

What is your favourite memory together?

During 50 years of marriage, there have been so many places we’ve travelled, so many paths walked together, and we’ve visited so many places in the world. We’ve raised a family, and it has been our greatest joy to watch them grow up, marry and start their own families. It’s difficult to say which part was the best – perhaps it’s yet to come!

What have you learned over your 50 years of marriage?

We’ve learned that no matter how hard it gets, no matter how much money you make, the only thing you have for each other is respect. If you have respect, the love, friendship and companionship will grow. So, although your interests may vary, you will always be best friends.

What advice would you give to today’s newlyweds?

Slow down, enjoy the journey together, be respectful of each other, freely give your time to understand the other’s problems, and never give up easily on the vows you make.

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