3 couples celebrate 6 decades of love

HAPPILY MARRIED: Gurling and Anna Botha; Bryan and Ria Cartwright; and Nic and Sylvia Panaretos celebrate over 60 years of marriage each.

 

As the saying goes, if one finds their soulmate they have found the world.

This was the case for three Fourways couples who recently reflected back on their years of marriage over an intimate lunch.

The trio, who have remained friends, are all over the age of 80 and have over 180 years of marriage between them. They agreed that while there was no secret formula to long lasting marriages, trust, understanding and tolerance were essential in any lasting union.

All three couples have come a long way, and despite the challenges and curve balls life has thrown their way, they have managed to stay together.

Ria Cartwright said, “We all very fortunate that each of us is still there for each other.”

Cartwright who got married in February 1956 to Bryan, explained that she met her husband at a skating rink in Kimberley in 1954. “It really has been an amazing journey,” she said. The pair has twin boys aged 56 and four grandchildren.

Anna and Gurling Bothma also met in Kimberley and have been married for 61 years and have three children and six grandchildren. Anna said she has known Ria for more than 70 years. “I used to play with Ria, and we have known each other since we were six. I met Gurling at the Postbank where we both used to work. He was extremely sporty and I fell for his good looks.”

Anna explained that the best part of their marriage is that they are still friends, and she advised new couples to not kill the romance in their relationships.

Also hitting the 60-year mark were Sylvia and Nic Panaretos who have been married for 64 years and have four children and eight grandchildren.

Sylvia explained that the pair met through Nic’s sister. “[Nic] came to fetch his sister from the bank where we both used to work and she introduced us. Two years later we got married in September 1951.”

Nic and Sylvia have eight grandchildren and four children.

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