Parow couple Sophia and Adam Fortune, both 81, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at the weekend.
They have lived in Parow for 22 years but met at a party thrown by mutual friends in Retreat back in the late 1950s.
Adam says it was love at first sight for him when he saw Sophia at the party.
“I wondered who she was and asked her if I could give her a lift home.”
Sophia turned him down, but Adam was determined, and a week later Sophia was at the movies with her brothers when she saw a man walking down the aisle.
“He came straight to my row, and told the man sitting next to me to move up. That is when I realised it was Adam.”
Later, he visited her home in Retreat.
Adam recalls how Sophia’s mother, Maria Adriaanse, asked who he was looking for.
“I told her I was looking for Sophia, and she looked at me and asked why I was not wearing a jacket because if I wanted to come into the house, I had to have a jacket on. I said I had just come from work and she told me that Sophia was next door.”
The pair soon started dating, and, a year later, Adam popped the question.
“When he asked me to marry him, I told him we were too young, but we went ahead with it anyway,” says Sophia.
The couple tied the knot on Tuesday June 24 1958, at the Dutch Reformed Church in Tokai. “We got married on a Tuesday and hosted the reception on the Sunday. We didn’t have a lot of money back then, but we scraped together money for a small gathering. It was very intimate.”
Adam says he decided to marry Sophia because he “really loved her”.
Sophia says she was reluctant to start dating Adam at first, but Cupid soon did his work and she fell in love with him.
When you get married young, you go through a lot of challenges and growth together, she says.
Sophia worked as a char, looking after people’s children, and Adam worked for the City for close to 34 years.
“We went through thick and thin together. I used to bake cakes and knit jerseys to make ends meet, and Adam always helped me,” Sophia says.
The couple have had the opportunity to travel overseas to the United Kingdom, Finland and New Zealand.
They both have green fingers, and their garden is filled with flowers, fruit and vegetables.
“Adam helps me with everything, from the washing to cleaning the floors as well as helping me in the garden,” Sophia says.
Adam says couples should think long and hard before getting married.
“When we first married, we barely had anything and were living on 10 pounds a month.
“Through the years, we have learnt, to work together and that has made all the difference because we share everything with one another.”
When they spoke to the Northern News, they were planning a quiet celebration, because their children had already held a big party for them last year.
“This year we will go to church in the morning and have lunch. We are just thankful to God for keeping us together,” Adam says.
They have five surviving children, 12 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
Their daughter, Carol Williams, said her parents taught her the importance of communication, love and doing things together.