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Peter and Lois Moodie say being able to "give and take" has been part of the success to their 65 year marriage.

By Toni Williams

The secret to a long happy marriage is being able to “give and take”, says Lois Moodie, nee Hicks.

Mrs Moodie, and husband Peter, both dressed to impress and each with a rose on their lapel, celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary last week over lunch at the Hotel Ashburton.

The glowing couple, both in their mid 80s, were joined by family and their groomsman Allan Smith and his wife Erna.

Lois and Peter married on April 24, 1954 in the old St Stephens Church, in Ashburton.

The church did not allow weddings during its religious Lent period, so the young couple chose the first Saturday after Lent, which meant Mid Canterbury rugby was also starting.

“We had to have a morning wedding because the Methven rugby team were playing in the afternoon,” she said.

Many of their guests were players so an early wedding meant Methven had a full team in the afternoon.

As teenagers, the couple initially met at Lois’ sister Marie’s wedding. It was a big wedding held in the Staveley Hall, says Lois.

Lois and Peter were just 16 and 17 years old when they danced the “destiny waltz” together, she said.

But it wasn’t until a few years later they started courting.

They had an 18 month engagement and got married in their early 20s at Twin Oaks, Bushside, which sits between Alford Forest and Staveley.

Their reception was held in the popular Radiant Hall, which was near the East Street Countdown, in Ashburton. It was catered by Kennedy and Mee, says Lois, with around 100 guests.

Mrs Moodie said their honeymoon included a road trip to Bluff in a four door Morris Minor.

Lois and Peter went on to have two children; John and Sharon, seven grandchildren and, so far, seven great grandchildren.