Auckland couple who met 80 years ago celebrate Valentines at retirement village
15 February 2017
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Tom Dillane, Stuff
For all the grand gestures designed to impress expectant lovers this Valentines Day, Pat Gow, at 83 years old, has topped your efforts. She's done so without even trying.
For the past five years, Pat has visited her husband of 60 years, Michael, every day at the Lady Allum Rest Home and Retirement village in Milford, Auckland.
Today is no different, except that the retirement village is holding a decorative Valentines Day talent show for residents.
Staff at the Lady Allum retirement village posing with some of the residents prior to beginning their Valentines Day talent show.
"I've come every day since he's moved in. We would like to go travelling, but we can't do it, so we've got to make the most of what we have got," Pat says.
Pat's first meeting with Michael occurred before she can even remember, in New Plymouth where they both grew up.
"When I was a little three-year-old in a pushchair, my mother was taking me to town one day and she went past this little boy riding his bike around, and she said 'hello' and he said 'ugh'," Pat says.
"Little did she know that was going to be her son-in-law many years later. That was when he was three and I was two."
Eighty years later, Pat sits with Michael in the Lady Allum village, where Michael became a resident five years ago after suffering a stroke.
While Pat's visit is no different to any other day, the Lady Allum retirement village put on a special Valentines Day celebration.
A Mr and Mrs Valentines Day talent show is being performed by staff at the retirement village, with dancing and entertainment for the residents.
"We found that there's a lot of talent among the staff, so we thought we might as well use Valentines Day to get them up on stage. The residents love the outfits and I think what they love the most is the decorations," Lady Allum activities staff coordinator Jacqueline Thomas said.
Sharing her thoughts on Valentines Day, Pat is not too fussed.
"Now it's been made big by advertising, but it wasn't even mentioned when we were young. It wasn't here, it was in America," she says.
Michael, however, was a little more sentimental on the day's meaning.
"You can sum it up in one word - 'love'," he said.
Looking back on her marriage Pat is extremely positive.
"It's been fantastic, we were confirmed in the same church and were married in the same church, and we've travelled the world," she says.
"You know we've had our ups and downs but that's what it's all about, being able to forgive and forget."
Find out more about Lady Allum Rest Home