For the fourth year running, Family First New Zealand has presented an Award for the Longest Married Couple in New Zealand and the New Zealand couple who won the previous three annual awards may not only be NZ’s longest married couple again this year, but the world’s longest married couple.
New Zealand couple JERAM & GANGA RAVJI (below) who have won the award since 2016 will celebrate 84 years of marriage this April, and both will turn 103 years old in May and June respectively. That is an incredible feat. Based on a response from Guinness World Records, we also believe it is the world record for a married couple who are both alive.
The longest married couple in the US celebrated their 83rd wedding anniversary in September 2018. Canada’s longest married couple celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary in 2016 before the husband died.
This is an opportunity to promote marriage and honour couples who have done the ‘hard yards’. Marriage is a great institution but it requires love and commitment, hard work, and community support. We want to celebrate with couples who are setting the example for younger married couples just starting out. The Ravjis deserve to be honoured.
The NZ winners are being recognised on Valentine’s Day 2019, which coincides with National Marriage Week which is the second week of February each year. The award has previously included flowers, chocolates and a professional photo sitting with the Ravji’s extended family which includes 6 children, 15 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.
We asked them how to make a strong marriage that lasts. Ganga said that in a long marriage there’s been lots of sacrifices, and she’s concerned that the young ones can’t tolerate anything and can’t make sacrifices. They have learnt to tolerate each other. She said that in every life, God’s given good and the bad and you have to work through it. They’ve had a long life and they’ve always had their ups and downs and it hasn’t been a bed of roses – lots of tragedies – but you have to live with it, and work through it. Their parents instilled in them ‘this is the way to do it and this is what you have to do’, and they listened to their parents – they never questioned them. The parents gave them advice and they just followed it, even if they didn’t like it. They knew that their parents knew better than them and wanted the best for them.
Due to personal circumstances, the Ravjis have declined any media interviews – which we are respecting.
JERAM RAVJI and GANGA JERAM RAVJI
84 years of marriage in April 2019.
They will both turn 103 years old this year in May and June respectively. In April they will celebrate their 84th wedding anniversary. Together they have 6 children, and 15 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren, most of whom are living in Auckland.