Future husband worth a second look a year later
Maurice and Joan Baines met more than 50 years ago at a dance, spent much of their married life posted overseas and finally settled in Hawke’s Bay. CHRIS WEBB reports.
If first impressions last, it’s a wonder Maurice and Joan Baines ever got together – let alone stayed married for half a century.
The Hastings couple will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary tomorrow, but their introduction didn’t go as smoothly as Mr Baines might have hoped.
Attending a dance in Marton in the early 1950s, Mr Baines says he was “‘a bit merry, it being New Year’s eve”. At one stage during the evening, he saw two redheads sitting at the side of the hall, and approached one of the girls to ask for a dance. The other girl, rather unimpressed, informed him he was talking to an empty chair, and refused a follow-up dance request.
Unperturbed, Mr Baines went back to the dance the following year in the hope the girl would be there also. She was, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The couple was married in Bulls in 1953, and lived there while Mr Baines worked at the Ohakea air base as an instrument fitter and technician. His job meant the family had to move around the country and sometimes overseas, at one stage spending two years in Asia. Mrs Baines, a teacher, was left with their two young children in Singapore while Mr Baines was called to work in several other countries, including Thailand and Borneo.
Back in New Zealand in 1973, Mrs Baines suffered a stroke, spending 18 months in Palmerston North hospital. During her stay, Mr Baines got a job at the hospital in pathology.
Twelve years ago the couple came to Hawke’s Bay.
Mrs Baines’s health problems mean she has little mobility these days, but with help from her husband and their dog Ebony, she is still in good spirits. He puts the success of their marriage down to good communication, mutual trust, and learning from mistakes.
“Too many young people these days forget their marriage vows. You have to stick together, no matter what,” he said.
Picture caption – MAURICE and Jean Baines – married 50 years tomorrow.
HBTODAY PICTURE: DUNCAN BROWN