Noel and Pam Kervin celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday.By Monique Preston
Noel and Pam Kervin’s first date had a rocky start with the pair having to push Mr Kervin’s old Volkswagon up the street to start it because he couldn’t afford a new battery for it.
It was not the most conventional start to their courtship, but the old Volkswagon featured in many of the stories the couple tell of their early years together.
‘‘He used to park it on the channel bank (when he came to visit) so he could get a run down to start it,’’ Mrs Kervin said.
‘‘Let’s just say she didn’t marry me for my money,’’ Mr Kervin laughed.
Nowadays their relationship is as rock-solid as ever, with the Kervins celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday.
The pair were 18 when they first met at a dance in Kerang one Saturday night.
Mrs Kervin was living in Appin at the time, and Mr Kervin in Leitchville.
‘‘I was involved in the Easter tennis tournament and it had a dance attached,’’ Mrs Kervin said.
He had spent the day at a cousin’s wedding and, unable to get to Echuca to go out that evening, he decided to go to the dance in Kerang with some of the other boys from the wedding.
His future wife caught his eye, and after that Mr Kervin started going to dances in Kerang more often.
After spending the best part of a year going out together, Mrs Kervin then headed off to Bendigo to teacher’s college for the next two years — spending many weekends driving the old Volkswagon up and down the roads between Bendigo and home.
‘‘Before she went away to Bendigo, I pretty much branded her. I gave her an engagement ring,’’ Mr Kervin said.
The couple got married shortly after Mrs Kervin finished her teacher training, with a ceremony in the Uniting Church in Cohuna on March 2, 1963.
The couple remember the day as a ‘‘lovely’’ one, however it was not without its problems.
‘‘I was staying in Cohuna with Noel’s cousin and I’d left my wedding shoes in Noel’s car and a friend had hidden the car because we didn’t want it filled with confetti and rice,’’ Mrs Kervin said.
‘‘We had to go to the cemetery (where it was hidden) to get the shoes.
‘‘It (the old Volkswagon) was easy to break-in to though.’’
The Kervins spent most of their married life in Leitchville, where Mr Kervin worked their dairy farm while Mrs Kervin taught at schools throughout the district.
She was a teacher for about 43 years.
It has only been in recent years the couple have retired to Echuca.
After 50 years of a marriage that is still going strong, Mrs Kervin said ‘‘being kind and understanding’’ was the secret to such a long marriage.
The couple brought up their three children — Marc, Jenni (Smith) and Cameron — on the farm, but their hearts were big enough that they also took a foster child, Stuart, into their family when their own children were young.
When he was younger, Stuart would stay with the Kervins every second weekend and on holidays, forming strong ties with the whole family.
The couple also has eight grandchildren.
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