Nunns make a habit of marriage

AMY and Hilton Nunn celebrate their 80th anniversary July 7.

The Bayswater couple, 100 and 105 respectively, immigrated from Swaziland in 1987 and plan to celebrate the milestone with family.

Their bodies ageing in sync, Ms Nunn’s loss of hearing is matched by her husband’s blindness. “I was still at school when we met, only 18 and at boarding school,” Ms Nunn recalls.

The pair credits the success of their marriage to appreciating each other and whatever life offers. Hard times drew them closer, having lived through WWII and southern Africa’s deep racial unrest.

Ms Nunn remembers Swazis hiding in the couple’s shop to avoid conscription into the British army: “We didn’t know any easier times,” Ms Nunn says. “We never smoked and never drank. We were quite content with the food we ate and wherever we were. My husband joined the army and left us until he returned due to terrible asthma attacks.

• Centenarians Amy and Hilton Nunn, “very happy” residents of the City of Bayswater Hostel, are celebrating 80 years of marriage. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

• Centenarians Amy and Hilton Nunn, “very happy” residents of the City of Bayswater Hostel, are celebrating 80 years of marriage. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

“It was very hard those days when I was left alone with the children. We had it hard but still made sure we enjoyed everything.

“Those were dangerous times and there were a lot of evil people around, but also many that were good. We protected them and they protected us in return.”

Married in 1934 in Paradise—the name of his father’s farm—Mr Nunn agrees life together hasn’t been quite the utopia he’d envisaged, but it has been enjoyable: “It was good,” he says with a smile. “There were ups and downs like with all married lives, but you just have to straighten up things. When things go wrong you make them right.”

When asked if he can recall his wife in her wedding dress, he smiles and instead perfectly recites France’s national anthem in a booming voice. “I learnt it when I was nine years old and was being taught by French teachers.”

His wife shakes her head and winks: “My dress was beautiful, it was a very nice wedding.”

by ASHLEIGH SCAIFE

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