Monday, 7 December 2009


Fifty years ago on December 8 our parents got married. Joy - was the eldest daughter of six and she fell in love with a skinny bloke with piercing blue eyes and a wicked grin.
Robin, was the farm hand. Mum was the farmers daughter. Dad came from a family of six whom, from a very young age, were brought up by a widowed mother.

He was born on Stewart Island and a piece of his heart is still there. I reckon down a muttonbird burrow on Ernest Island.
He came from fishing stock on both sides of his family and his Maori blood came from Pura, a Kaipoi woman sent south to get away from marauding Ngati Toa chief Te Rauparaha . She married a Portuguese whaler. Dad is a Campbell, and comes from the Goomes and Hanning Clans as well.
Mum has fine Scottish stock in her history, Stewarts and McLauchlans. Her family too are fifth generation Southlanders .They have left their proud mark on many aspects of Southland history.

Mum's dad was none to happy about the union. I was talking to mum about the fact I can never remember the wedding anniversary date and I apologised for not remembering.

She texted me and said that she couldn't forget it as she was suffering from morning sickness on the day of her wedding and it was my fault but she didn't mind.

Getting pregnant was one way of getting round the family displeasure of the relationship with the blue eyed farm hand with the touch of the tar brush, I suppose.

Funny thing is - Dad turned out to be my grandfathers favourite son in law. In fact he was probably closer to my grandfather than his own sons.

He kept my grandparents in fish , helped on the farm and in their old age he was the one who sorted stuff.

Dad is a character. A good bastard. A curmudgeon and a staunch and loyal friend to many, many people. His adventures have enriched the lives of scores of people who would have had dull existances if it wasn't for the fact he and mum welcomed others into their wonderful world.

Mum is the best of mums and dads best mate. Well dad is mums best mate as well I suppose.
They have had an extraordinary love that has spanned five decades. There has only been one love for the both of them - each other. I have watched as friends parents and indeed my own marriage withered from the acid of betrayal - Never mum and dad. It is to my everlasting sorrow that I could not repeat their steadfast union.

They have had their share of battles but they fought them together and always came out stronger on the other side.

Mum has an enormous sense of justice and fairplay. She is and always will be my best mate and as she lives in the South and as we live in the north, a day doesn't go past when I dont feel a dull ache of separation. We have always been a clannish family. Big family gatherings were the norm and I miss them as does my son.

In a way Mum and dad dont really need anyone else. For years now they have toured around the country in their beloved motorhome Bugsy's Burrow, meeting new people , making new friends, catching up with old ones.

So tomorrow night in Alexandra ma and pa will be having a bit of a knees up with some of their mates. Crayfish and muttonbird and moonshine will be the order of the evening. Then at the end of this week , they will get in their motorhome and head north to spend the Christmas season with me, my sister and our families and friends.
Dad will bring with him his new spuds. He will kill and dress a sheep for Xmas, smoke a few eels, cook a few barbeques and mum will make us all groan under the weight of her great baking.

And sometime over Xmas, probably on the old mans birthday, we will invite some mates to share in the joy of our parents long and happy marriage.

Ma and Pa - happy Fiftieth. And here's to many many more happy years. We love you. All of us.


Cactus Kate said...

I think Pa was punching a little bit above his weight with Ma.

Happy anniversary, and I'm sure BB will buy you a nice gold clock for the 50th.

homepaddock said...

Falling in love is easy, staying in love is something very special.

Enjoy the celebrations.

gravedodger said...

That is what marriage is all about. It is uncannily close to my effort and circumstance having just ticked over the 46th year last october. My late father bless him, said it wouldn't last and he could still be right but the odds are not good. Your ma and pa are inspirational, your acknowledgement of them is right up there. Wishing you the greatest xmas possible with them.

kehua said...

Congratulations Ma And Pa you are very fortunate. You also have a bloody good daughter.(but you already know that.)

fredinthegrass said...

Thanks for sharing your 'great news' story. Happy get-together and a wonderful family time.

Alex Masterley said...

BB, Congratulations to your parents.
50 years is special, very special indeed.
It's a pity that few of the generations following will make that mark.

Eye2theLongRun said...

Congrats and a fine example Ma and Pa.... trust you all enjoy it. Fine testament to daughter that she writes it how it is!

Anonymous said...

BB.. it was a pleasure to read about your parents. It is very rare now days for love to last..
I wish more of our generation were blessed with the commitment, dedication and love that your parents have..
I don't know any of you.. but congradulations on your anniversary and blessings to you for the many years to come.

Truth - Light - Love

Anonymous said...

Hi and a happy anniversary to Joy and Robin. Hopefully we will have the pleasure of meeting your parents next July. Have a great Xmas. Have all the clan here as well.Will no doubt chat at sometime. If your love affair had lasted you wouldn't know me so I'm happy to know you.. cheers Rosie.XX