A Social Bible Class Sparks 70 Years of Love

Going the extra mile for each other is key to surviving 70 years of marriage, say Denise (née Tattersfield) and Murray Faul of Invercargill.

The couple met during a social Bible class at First Presbyterian Church in 1948.

“When you entered the hall, all the boys were standing in one corner and all the girls were in the other,” said Ms Faul (90).

What had caught her attention in Mr. Faul was his auburn hair, but his friend Audrey mentioned that she had wanted to dance with him that night.

“He started walking towards me and I thought, ‘Oh yeah, Audrey has blonde hair and brown eyes, so he’s not coming towards me’ – but he did.”

Mr Faul (93) believes they both had a ‘mutual attraction and connection’.

After dancing, he invited her to dinner, and from there the couple frequently cycled to opposite ends of Invercargill to see each other.

“We didn’t have cars, so we cycled to court,” he said.

After four years, the couple were married at First Church on July 31, 1952.

The couple trusted each other and took their wedding vows seriously, which they said was key to a successful marriage.

Since they had similar interests, they also did most things together, Faul said.

He also introduced Ms Faul to his interest in harness racing and their honeymoon was at the Grand National event in Christchurch.

Although their lives have stabilized “very much”, the couple still did the extra work to take care of each other.

His wife had recently suffered from heart problems, so he had learned to cook and take care of the house, Mr Faul said.

“I wouldn’t be alive if I didn’t have her here to look after me,” Ms Faul said.

“I used to take care of Murray when he was working, but now the roles [have] switched.”

It was “satisfying” to know that they had reached 70 years of marriage, they said.

They had five daughters, eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

His daughter Pam Wilson said her parents were the focal point of their family.

“They kept us together and are basically the glue [of the family].”

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