Saskatoon couple celebrates more than six decades of love on Valentine's Day

February 14, 2013 - 6:17am
Marge and Bob Hamel in their Saskatoon home. Trelle Burdeniuk/ News Talk Radio
Marge and Bob Hamel in their Saskatoon home. Trelle Burdeniuk/ News Talk Radio

Sitting in their Saskatoon home, Marge and Bob Hamel reminisce about how their 65 year marriage all began in the small Saskatchewan town of Lestock.

"He asked me if I would like to go to a dance in (the town of) Punnichy, so we went," Marge smiled.

After six months of dating, Bob surprised Marge by visiting her in Winnipeg, where she was working at the time.

"He came to Winnipeg and my landlady phoned me and says, 'You know your friend is here. He's tall.'"

When Marge saw Bob later that day, he teased her about costing him a lot of money, before he popped the question.

"He pulls out this diamond ring. That's how fast it happened. I didn't know whether to accept it or not and finally I did."

The pair returned to Lestock for a winter wedding on November 19, 1947.

Marge and Bob Hamel's wedding photo from 1947.

"Those days you didn't get married on a weekend. This was on a Wednesday," she said.

Bob remembered that day had "great big snowflakes" and Marge said it was "slushy" and her bridesmaids had to keep wiping snow and water off the floor of her mom's house.

As the two of them look over their only wedding photo, Marge comments on how tiny she was, "I weighed 98 pounds," she said and Bob quickly added with a laugh, "when she was wet!"

Now, Marge said she is amazed it has been 65 years since that photo was taken.

"It's hard to believe that you stay with one man for that long - these days anyways," she laughed.

Her advice to anyone hoping to stay married as long and her and her husband, is to never go to bed angry at each other and always communicate.

"There's times that you're ready to throw the books in, but if you communicate and get past that moment, you're back to yourselves again," Marge said.

Together they have four children and 14 grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Bob said Marge was his perfect match.

"She's good, knowledgeable and everything else. You can't beat that," he said.

Marge said she almost lost Bob to double pneumonia 24 years ago and now he has pneumonia again. But, the pair of them still live in the home he built from the ground up more than 35 years ago.

"It's a good house. It hasn't fallen over yet anyway," Bob joked.

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