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75 years of marriage marked
When George Thompson says he loves his wife Sadie as much as he did when they first got together 75 years ago, she calls him crazy.
Then she smiles, just a little.
It was during a dance in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan.
George tapped on the shoulder of a pretty brunette he had spotted across the dance floor. When she turned, that was it.
Three months later, they were engaged. A month after that, they got married.
During a photo session in their home for The Times in late November, the 98-year-old George said he still remembers the three-quarter length hemline of the dress Sadie was wearing that day.
The 95-year-old Sadie snorted.
“I don’t remember what I was wearing,” she said.
“He doesn’t remember.”
“Don’t tell me I don’t remember,” George said.
Their wedding took place on Sept. 18, 1937 at a Presbyterian Church minister’s residence in Biggar, Saskatchewan.
The Thompsons left the Prairies for B.C. a few days after they exchanged vows and headed to Port Alberni.
It was the height of the Great Depression, and they went where the work was, moving to Horsefly, Quesnel, Prince George, Williams Lake, Cranbrook, Edmonton and Vancouver.
They estimate they moved 24 times before they finally settled down in Langley’s Walnut Grove area 44 years ago.
“I never thought that it would last this long,” Sadie said, as she settled into a chair next to George, who was recovering from a bad slip that bruised his back.
“Take my hand,” she said as she leaned against his shoulder.
“Don’t leave it lying in your lap.”
They are parents of five, grandparents of seven and great-grandparents of three.
Their kitchen refrigerator is completely covered in photos.
They are often asked how they managed to stay together for so long.
“We’ve always been true to each other,” Sadie said.
“And neither of us smoke or drink.”
Then she corrected herself to note that George used to smoke, but he quit in 1950 when their daughter was born.
“It hasn’t been all sunshine,” she noted.
“You’ve got to give and take,” George said.
When asked, George said he loves Sadie as much as he did when they were first married.
When he tells her that, “she says I’m crazy,” he said.
Sadie said she would rather not go into detail about her feelings for her husband.
But a few minutes later, Sadie may have revealed some of her feelings when she proudly mentioned that George was a lifetime member of the Lions’ club.
George pretended to be annoyed with his wife for telling.
“I’m going to biff you one,” he said, balling up one hand into a fist and shaking it in mock anger.
“You should be proud of it,” Sadie said, looking anything but intimidated.
The couple already have a sheaf of letters from various dignitaries congratulating them on their previous 60th wedding anniversary, including one written message of congratulation from the Queen.
They now have two, with a second letter from Her Majesty acknowledging their 75th anniversary.
“I don’t think there are many who have made it 75 years,” Sadie said.
The Thompsons celebrated their anniversary with family and friends in September.