A love story that began on the village bowling green
Maree and Bob Graham fell in love over their mutual interest in the social sport of lawn bowls.
The residents of Arvida Peninsula Club community married nine years ago and say having a shared interest helped to connect the couple.
Both Maree and Bob sadly lost their partners within six months of each other and they took time individually to reflect and mourn.
Maree says it was when the pair regularly played bowls together they found they were on the same wave length. Bob says it was important and it was then that sparks began to fly.
“One of my pastimes was taking a walk around the community and every now and again I would see this lady also taking a walk. I would say hello as she walked by. Then one day I found myself playing against her on the bowling green – and as we passed while changing ends, I asked her if she would like to go for a coffee – and that was the beginning.”
The 82 year olds came from different backgrounds with Maree from Orewa as a former interior designer, while Bob was a school headmaster from Wainui.
After an amazing trip to Europe they decided to marry and eloped to Norfolk Island.
These days the couple are still active on the village committees with Bob on the bowls and Maree the residents committee. While Bob continues to play bowls Maree has move onto practicing her golf putting.
Thinking back to when they first began playing bowls together, Maree believes they were meant to be and she wouldn't change it for the world.
“More than anything you don't have time to wonder maybe I will, maybe I won't. There's no time to waste!”