Jeanne’s still Fred’s honey bee, 60 years on
The Hawke’s Bay Herald Tribune report of the May 19, 1945, wedding of Jeanne and Fred Herries commented on the bride, who “looked charming in a gown of white lace”.
Exactly 60 years later, Mr Herries looks at his wife, smiles and says “she’s still charming”.
Today the Napier couple are celebrating their golden wedding anniversary – not that it seems that long ago, Mrs Herries (79) said.
“It’s gone so quickly, it’s unbelievable,” she said.
Mr Herries (83) and Mrs Herries met in their late teens when they lived next door.
Mr Herries did “not know many girls” at the time and enjoyed Mrs Herries’ company.
“I just drifted into it,” Mrs Herries said with a laugh.
Their romance grew, but it was put on hold when Mr Herries was in the airforce during World War 2. They spent three years corresponding by letter and were engaged in November 1943: “It was very hard to be away from each other for so long,” Mrs Herries said.
Eleven days after VE (Victory in Europe) day, when Mr Herries returned home, they were married at Hastings’ St Matthews Church. Before long they had a family – two boys and two girls. Now, they have seven grandchildren, and “four and a half great-grandchildren”, Mr Herries said.
“There’s one due in June.”
Mr Herries worked at Baillie Farmers until his retirement in 1985 and Mrs Herries was a dressmaker. Now, they enjoy working in their garden and reading.
They will celebrate at a dinner with family tomorrow, and at a big party with their extended family on Sunday. But today, Mr and Mrs Herries were just celebrating together.
“We’ve had a lovely life together, we still have a lovely life together,” Mr Herries said.
“There was this great song, Honey Bee, when we were young, which I used to sing to her. She was always my honey bee – she still is.”
They believed consideration, support and encouragement were important in a relationship, but also to just “be good friends,” Mrs Herries said.
“We’ve always been happy together and we’ve never had a fight. We look after each other.”
Keeping your own identity was also important.
“You have to support each other but keep your own interests.”
And going out for dinner occasionally was important, too.
“A little bit of romance is good for everyone,” Mrs Herries said.
Photo caption – GOLDEN COUPLE: Jeanne and Fred Herries, of Napier, are celebrating their 60th Wedding Anniversary today.