My father was born in the hills behind the seaside village of Platanias, near the village of Agia Marina on the west coast of Hania, in a neighbourhood called Drakiana. All that remains of it are the ruins of his first home, a 14th-century church dedicated to St George and a zillion fields full of orange and olive trees.
One of his acqauintances, also from Crete, informed him that he was migrating to New Zealand with his young family. Emigration was nothing new in hard times; my father told his friend not to forget him and his family. He carried on working in slave-like conditions in the Greek capital, until one day, he received a letter from his friend who had settled in New Zealand, informing him of the chance to marry a 'good Greek girl' who had also recently emigrated.
and married her a week later, on Waitangi Day, the 6th of February, 1965, as he had promised he would do in his last letter. There was no doubt about what was to be done when they met for the first time: they would marry, as had been planned. A trial period, what-if questions, divorce, none of these entered their heads at the time. No one made demands of a personal nature. Both sides wanted to improve their lives, which they did to the best of their ability, forfeiting their own interests and looking only to serve each other.
They spent nearly three decades together, until the death of my mother in Wellington, after which Dad came back to
Sometimes the romance in a marriage starts well after the wedding.