Still supporting each other after all these years, Jim and Betty Parrant celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last week. Jim and Betty were married on June 5, 1948.
Betty and Jim Parrant, both aged 92, have been together since they met as teenagers at a dance in Dargaville in 1944.
Jim was working for the railways, and Betty had a job at the local ladieswear shop.
“She was a really good dancer, and I wasn’t,” Jim says. “I liked the look of her and didn’t understand why she danced with me.”
In fact the attraction was mutual – Betty says she had noticed Jim around town.
They were married four years later and last week, on June 5, celebrated their 70th (Platinum) wedding anniversary with a low key gathering at home – sharing a few drinks with their family, which includes three children, “lots” of grandchildren and great grandchildren.
“We’re a bit past having a big celebration,” Betty says.
Congratulations have been received from the Queen, the Governor General and Prime Minister.
The couple have lived in Orewa for 36 years and want to remain independently in their warm, sunny home as long as possible.
Ask about the glue that has kept them together all these years, and golf immediately comes up. Both were keen golfers until mobility became difficult. Jim says he once played a record five rounds of golf in a single day with a group of friends, starting at first light. “It normally takes around three hours to play 18 holes, but we were quick players,” he says.
Over the years they have owned and run a number of businesses together including a poultry farm in Henderson and a hardware store.
Betty’s eyesight is not so good now and neither is Jim’s hearing but they make it work by supporting each other. A game changer was when Jim got a mobility scooter around five years ago, so he can get out and do all the shopping.
He also takes care of the cooking.
“Jim’s a great help and a loving husband,” Betty says. “Like any couple, we have our moments, but we don’t growl at each other much.”
“There have been many great years and we wish we could have them all again!” Jim says.