The Slater’s golden years of marriage

Trevor and Kay Slater on their wedding Day. February 8, 1969.

Every week Trevor and Kay Slater would go dancing at the popular Monaco dance club on Federal Street in Auckland City.

They say they can remember vividly how they felt dancing along with the go-go girls as Larry’s Rebels played.

This is where, in 1964, their love story began.

And earlier this month the Botany locals celebrated their 50th golden wedding anniversary.

“We’re in it for the long haul,” says Trevor.

Kay smiles at her husband. “We certainly are.”

After four years together and a two year engagement, the pair wed on February 8, 1969 at St Patricks Catholic Church at 2pm.

“I was Anglican and Trevor was Catholic so we compromised and had a priest from both [churches],” says Kay.

Kay on her wedding day 50 years ago.

‘We learnt that marriage is about compromise very early on,” laughs Trevor. “I guess that’s why we are still here 50 years on.”

Their marriage has seen them raise two beautiful daughters and become grandparents three times over.

It has seen them both build successful careers and create a home for their family no matter where they lived.

But it hasn’t been without its challenges the pair say.

In 1988 their world was turned upside down when Kay walked into a checkout bar at the supermarket while helping an elderly customer.

The incident resulted in a muscle collapsing in her knee causing a rare form of cancer and eventually her leg needed to be amputated.

“We got nothing from ACC. Kay spent three months in Middlemore Hospital. We went from two incomes to just mine,” Trevor says.

Kay has continued to battle with health problems, including becoming wheelchair bound after breaking her hip in 2011.

When he was 63 years old, Trevor retired and became Kay’s full time caregiver.

“I used to have a classic car that I absolutely loved, but I had to sell it so we could afford to live,” he says.

“But [these challenges] have taught me to value how much Kay did for me around the house that I never even realised.”

Kay says they have always seen each other as team mates, and this has helped them ride out the storms.

The bridal party of Kay and Trevor.

“A doctor told me at the time, ‘something like this can either make or break a marriage, and in your case this has made your marriage because you two are so devoted to one another’. And it was true,” she says.

“Marriage isn’t always easy, it’s a choice and we choose to stick by each other,” she says.

But as the couple tell me of their struggles, they continue to laugh and make light of the challenges.

Their advice to other couples is never go to sleep on an argument.

“It’s not worth it,” they say.

Kay and Trevor today.