God is the “firm foundation”, their family the cornerstone.
Cambridge’s Roy and Joan Suisted marked their 70th – or platinum – wedding anniversary last week – and Joan said those factors have sustained them.
“We’re both Christians, that does make all the difference,” she said.
Their anniversary – April 22 – this year looked a little different given lockdown, but several family members from all over the world made a Zoom call to the couple – who live at Te Awa Lifecare.
Their anniversary featured letters from the Queen, Prime Minister and the Governor-General.
“It was such a lovely day,” Joan said. “I can’t thank Te Awa enough for how special they made it.”
Roy, 97, and Joan, 89, first met in Sunday School, Roy came to Cambridge aged two, Joan was born and raised here.
The couple have five children – Lorraine, John, Gill, Murray and Rose – 14 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
Murray, who lives in Cambridge, told the News his parents have always been “great encouragers” of their family.
“They were always there for us. Dad’s a people person, always able to start a conversation with anybody, mum was good at public speaking.”
She’s also written six books.
While Murray said his parents were very different personality types, he agreed that their faith in God was always central.
“Opposites attract I suppose,” Murray smiled. “One’s weakness is another’s strength.”
As Joan headed off to lead a weekly bible study group at Te Awa Lifecare, she offered some advice for longevity.
“A lot about life has changed over the years, yes”, she said.
“And it has its up and downs and its difficulties at times. But when that happens, we come to together and pray our way through. God sustains us.”