Colin & Aileen reminiscing with their bridesmaid Wendy Cooper (Colin's sister) 
 
This article written by Nicholas Boyack appeared in Stuff on 12 Jan 2023
 
Congratulations to Colin & Aileen - 70 years married! 
 
All Black nearly scared off would-be son-in-law as couple celebrate 70 years
Colin Fenton was a worried man when he decided he wanted to marry Aileen Perry.
The future eye doctor met Aileen on a Dunedin tennis court and straight away knew she was the one for him.
His biggest fear was her dad – one-game All Black Arnold Perry. He was ensconced in Dunedin rugby culture and Colin was not sure how he would view a non-rugby playing son-in-law.
“I had a bit of a problem, everything the family did revolved around rugby and I was a bit of a scruffy lad that played hockey.”
Looking for advice, he went to his own father.
 
"I explained my predicament to my father and he said, ‘what is Aileen’s mum like’ and I said, ‘lovely’ and he said, ‘well concentrate on her.’”
Wendy, Colin’s younger sister, was a bridesmaid and the now 90-year-old said the wedding was memorable.
“It was a beautiful wedding, Aileen made her own wedding dress, which was absolutely beautiful.” 
 
They eventually married in the First Church in Dunedin and ironically the in-laws got on so well, they used to holiday together. The fathers-in-law had gone to school together in Wellington and both had served overseas during World War II.
Colin found Arnold, who everyone called Fred in reference to the English tennis player, an easy man to get on with.
Aileen, 93, does not remember much about her father’s rugby career but was told he was in line to join the 1924 Invincibles until he played in the All Black trial, with a poorly fitting pair of boots.
 
They spent a happy six years in London, where Colin underwent more medical training and Aileen worked in the New Zealand Embassy.
“It was absolutely wonderful. New Zealanders would come in and want to know where to get accommodation and where to eat.”
In 1964, they built their current house, designed by architect Martin Hill.
Living in Lower Hutt, Colin spent many years on various boards at St Oran’s​ College and in 2010 had part of the school named after him.
He operated in Wellington Hospital and had private practice, which he retired from aged 74.
They had four children – Paul, Wendy, Jenny and Claire. Colin and Aileen, in their 90s, are still active gardeners.
With the passing of 70 years, they both agree respect and a sense of humour make for a good marriage.
Looking back on his life, Colin said the world had changed greatly but there is one thing he was always grateful for.
“When I was 18, I remember thinking, I will be in the first generation of 18-year-olds that will not have to go to war.”
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