When Tony Clench first met Caroline (then) McMillan in Glasgow in 1953, they never guessed they would be celebrating 60 years together on the other side of the world!
They were still in their early teens and romance blossomed slowly but they finally married on March 25 at Tolcross, Glasgow on March 25 1955. Caroline’s father had travelled from Glasgow to Bournemouth, for work and boarded with the Clench family.
Caroline’s parents and sister had emigrated to NZ earlier, so in 1958 Tony and Caroline immigrated to New Zealand with their two and a half year old daughter, arriving on Good Friday, fourth of April. Everything was closed and they had to make do until work restarted four days later. They settled in Island Bay and the family welcomed two more daughters to the family prior to moving to Porirua and later Whitby before retiring to Otaki in 1991. They lived in Waitohu Valley Road until the beginning of 2014, when they left their home and large section for a small villa in Te Rauparaha Street.
Tony was an electrician, he completed his apprenticeship in 1951, before The British Army sent him to Germany with the Occupation Forces while doing his National Service. On arriving in NZ he worked at wiring houses in Porirua, working with Arnold &Wrights as a travelling salesman and later as a tally clerk on the Wellington water front.
Caroline worked in a variety of jobs, including clerical work, sales in several classy clothing shops both in Glasgow and Wellington, one of her last jobs was at the NZ Housing Corporation offices where she rose from her mail clerk position to the Records and Legal section.
Settling in Otaki, Tony was a keen gardener and had a big vegetable garden and flower gardens, in Waitohu Valley Road, until the physical work got too much and he gradually returned the gardens to grass.
They were both keen golfers and played at the Otaki Golf Club. They also joined the Otaki RSA where Caroline was active in the Women’s section and was a member of the Line Dancing team.
The family continued to grow with six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
They will be celebrating the diamond wedding anniversary with family and friends at the Quarter Acre Café on Saturday March 28.