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60 years married and still counting
22 May 2015
60 years married and still counting

FAIRYTALE CONTINUES: Peter and Alice van Boheemen celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Photo Troy Baker

 

EVEN after 60 years, Alice van Boheemen still thinks her husband, Peter, is a bit of alright.

While they will celebrate the milestone with their family tomorrow, yesterday the couple marked their 60th wedding anniversary with afternoon tea and shared the story of how they first.

Mr van Boheemen, originally from Holland, moved to New Zealand 70 years ago after serving in Indonesia with the Dutch army. He said he met his wife while working with her brother at Rotomahana.

“He said he was going home and asked if I wanted to come for a ride, and I that is when I met her for the first time.

“She was only 17 and I never heard anything for three years. Then I got an invitation to a 21st; I couldn’t figure it out but I asked my brother if he wanted to go and so we did and, well, that was that.”

To which Mrs van Boheemen, 82, replied, with a small smile tugging at her mouth: “She must’ve been interested in him to send the invitation”, with a small smile tugging at her lips.

Mr van Boheemen, now 87, was working in Taneatua at the time and Mrs van Boheemen, who was living in Rotorua, said he would visit her every weekend.

“But he got sick of it and one day he said ‘Let’s get married’. So we did.”

The couple were married at St Michael’s church in Rotorua and Mrs van Boheemen said she moved to live with her husband in Taneatua.

They then moved to a sharemilking position at Ruatoki, where three of their five children were born.

When their third child, Evelyn, was a month old the young family bought a dairy farm at White Pine Bush Road, where Mr and Mrs van Boheemen lived for 54 years.

Eventually, they sold the flat piece of land at the bottom of their property and converted the farm to an orchard, where they grew and sold fruit under the Whakatane West Citrus name.

But as age took its toll the work became too much and the couple sold off pockets of their remaining land. And while they retained the house and small lifestyle block for a few more years, they decided that the stairs at their property had become too much so they sold the final portions last year, opting to move into town instead.

“I’ve got nothing to growl about,” Mrs van Boheemenaid.

“We milked cows together and we picked fruit together and I liked that … It was quite a good life.”

Mrs van Boheeman said the key to an enduring marriage was perseverance and persistence.

“If you have an argument, don’t just split up. Make sure you come back together. Marriage is never like a piece of cake, I mean it’s not perfect. You have ups and downs and when you get back together it all makes sense.”

Mr and Mrs van Boheemen will celebrate their wedding anniversary at the Whakatane RSA with 24 family members.

 

Source: Whakatane Beacon

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