Home' East and Bays Courier : September 5th 2012 Contents ADVERTISING
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Public Notices Love going the distance
By DANIELLE STREET
Diamond days, above: Alwyn and Hilda Manley are celebrating 60
years of marriage tomorrow, with their daughters Rebecca Robinson,
left, and Claire Cooney.
Photo: HARPREET SINGH/CLICKKIWI
Wedding belle, right: Hilda Manley says her bouquet was unusual for
the time and was made by her husband's cousin, who won an award
for the arrangement.
Alwyn and Hilda Manley are
not only evidence that oppos-
ites attract, but that they can
lead a long and happy life
After 60 years of marriage,
Mrs Manley is still content to
wait at the shore for her hus-
band while he swims between
Rangitoto Island and St
Heliers, though she herself
cannot swim an inch.
If it's above my ankles I'm
lost,'' she quips. But some-
body's got to be at the other
side with a dry towel, and
swimming has been his life.''
She's not exaggerating.
Mr Manley has a rack of
medals that have accumulated
over several decades for long-
The last time he completed
the 4.6-kilometre swim to
Rangitoto Island he was an
impressive 81 years old.
Five years later he is still
swimming regularly and com-
peting in long-distance events.
The retiree has tried to
encourage his sweetheart to
share his lifelong passion for
I taught her once, and she
swam a length. I think that
was it,'' he says.
But the key to a successful
marriage is supporting each
other, the Mt Roskill pair say.
They will be celebrating
their diamond wedding anni-
Originally from England,
Mr Manley came to New Zea-
land with two friends in 1947.
He had tried to run away
and join the navy,'' Mrs Man-
ley says. He always wanted to
go to sea.''
However, his tool-making
skills were needed in the
industries and eventually he
returned home to England,
where he met his wife-to-be at
The pair married nine
months later at St Mary's Kip-
pax Church in Yorkshire.
That got people talking,''
Mrs Manley says.
They had a small village
wedding in 1952, when times
were tough because post-war
rationing was in effect.
Friends and family contri-
buted things, like ingredients
to make the cake,'' Mrs Man-
ley says. A cup of sugar or
some margarine, it just
Six years later the pair
moved to Australia, where
they had their first daughter,
It was 1961 when they
moved to New Zealand, and
two years later their daughter
Claire was born.
The two say that although
New Zealand is now home,
they regularly return to
While crossing the globe to
visit family, they also got the
chance to visit other countries.
We've seen quite a bit of
the world,'' Mr Manley says,
rattling off a handful of loca-
tions. Hawaii, San Francisco,
Peru, Tahiti, France, Belgium
Mrs Manley wasn't into
globetrotting until she met her
I was never one for travel-
ling but once it started I just
The couple will be celebrat-
ing their anniversary with a
family dinner and then will
head to Australia for a
MS sufferer turns life around with help
By DANIELLE STREET
Turning tide: Former America's Cup sailor Richard Dodson says MS
Auckland has helped him control the disease that was taking hold of
Photo: DANIELLE STREET
A change of tack is helping a
former America's Cup sailor
manage the multiple sclerosis
he has lived with for the past
Richard Dodson remembers
the week he was diagnosed
because it was the same week
as Lady Diana died in August
It was my eyesight that I
noticed first. What happened
is I got double vision,'' he says.
The doctor realised there
was more going on than just
my eyesight, so I went to the
specialist and that's where I
was told I had MS.''
At the time he was the
onboard afterguard strategist
within Team New Zealand for
their successful defence of the
America's Cup. Mr Dodson
says the diagnosis really did-
n't hit home straight away
because very little was wrong
except for his eyesight, which
he had corrected with surgery.
Multiple sclerosis is a dis-
order of the central nervous
system, which includes the
brain, spinal cord and optic
The course of the condition
varies largely between every
person, some will only experi-
ence mild symptoms over their
others will experience pro-
gressive disability over the
For a long time he kept his
condition secret from every-
body, except for his family,
close friends and just one of
his team mates, mastman
I had MS but I would go
without any of the symptoms
arising,'' he says.
So I said, if it's affecting me
or I'm not performing as well
as I should be let me know and
I'll stand down from the crew.''
For many years everything
was relatively smooth sailing
but about three years ago Mr
Dodson's condition worsened,
his sister Celia Snedden says.
His speech got bad, his eye-
sight got bad, his balance got
bad,'' she says.
He had to stop sailing.''
Having to stop his life-long
passion had the athlete look-
ing for a miracle cure'', but he
eventually realised he had to
take control of the disease.
So, early this year the
55-year-old started going to
outpatient service Rehab Plus
in Pt Chevalier.
According to his sister the
rehabilitation centre has a
holistic approach encom-
passing speech therapy, medi-
tation, nutrition, and physio-
The support has been high,
but it had to get bad before he
addressed it,'' Ms Snedden
The pair say MS Auckland's
support is invaluable in help-
ing Mr Dodson reach his goals,
which include getting back out
on the water.
These days the sailor, who
speaks with a slight slur, is
much more open about his
The siblings will be taking
part in the MS Auckland
street appeal on September 7
and 8, which is part of MS
Visit msakl.org.nz to find out
EAST & BAYS COURIER, SEPTEMBER 5, 2012
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