Alatoas above Nagotambu’s serene Number 2 Lagoon

In these days of professional, social and cultural challenges, well known faces of Port Vila Hannington and Nadine Alatoa have celebrated their 39th marriage anniversary with love, trust and forgiveness at their Nagotambu captivating seashore community behind Korman Stadium last Sunday.

Hannington used to be Ombudsman while his wife Nadine was a dedicated Secretary to the Council of Minister until her retirement not long ago.

Asked what the secret of their marriage longevity is, Hannington puts all down to “discovering” his wife all over again every February 1 (marriage anniversary) saying, he has come to appreciate new things about her that he never realised existed one year earlier.

Even little things concerning his wife in the way she appreciates life that he did not find time to recognise in the past, have now come to the fore and opened his eyes to help him to embrace what their marriage is all about.

Asked to reveal what exactly that he is discovering, both he and his wife burst into laughter as he replies, “It could be a comment Nadine makes that gives our marriage life meaning and this is something I find refreshing so often and it challenges me to contemplate.

“I keep striving for this lovely being called Nadine who gives me reason to strive on”.

Nadine puts it all down to the magic four-letter word called “love”.

“Love endures and has sustained our marriage regardless of the challenges in life”, she shrugs.

“The Bible stresses love, faith and hope and I believe love has sustained our marriage for 39 years.

“For instance when my husband works and travels and immediately I start to miss him and likewise, he also misses me.

“It all boils down to the biblical love where our Saviour Jesus Christ died on the cross which I believe, has bound us in marriage for life”.

Asked what advice to give to the young generation, Nadine puts it down to the Christian marriage promise uttered by the pastor or priest where he reads that “…in good times or bad times, only death do us part”.

“I believe that what challenges couples go through in life, if one partner is the victim, he or she must not become the instigator of separation and for me, it is (Christian) love that has sustained our marriage regardless of what”.

Hannington puts in, “My humble advice to our children and young people in general today is the importance of trust that you have for each other and the ability to forgive each other because we are not perfect, only Jesus is”.

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