The secret to 70 years of marriage

tor. For his actions in Burma he was award- ed the MBE, naming himMember of the Or- der of the British Empire. He did not return to Canada until 1945. The couple corresponded by mail throughout the war years. Vera laughs about Alex’s letter referring to her “little black eyes.” In response she sent him a photo of herself, which she still has on dis- play beside the wedding photo of the very handsome couple. Alex returned in April and they married in May. There piece. Both are highly accomplished craftsper- sons. Besides sewing Vera has painted, created many high- quality pottery and ceramic pieces, and does large needlework projects. Alex is a gardener and a cabinet-maker, among many other skills. After the war he went to university, then worked for North- ern Electric, in construction. His last job was with Defence Construction for the govern- ment. He also provided things to help Vera with her projects, like tables, shelves and an ea- sel. They lived many places but the place that was home the longest was a parcel of land on a hillside in North Gower where was only a short time to prepare, which included Vera sew- ing her own beau- tiful satin wedding gown and head-

they lived 40 years. “Alex and Dad built us a lovely home on two levels,” says Vera. “I could enter the lower half and that was my studio. It had big windows and all my craft supplies.” The main part of the house was upstairs. Outside Alex had several acres for the big garden he liked to grow and which Vera wasn’t interested in. “One thing we never fought about,” Alex quipped. They had six children.“We had three boys, and we were desperate for a girl,” says Vera. “Then I found out it was twins—twin girls!” A fourth son followed. The family expanded in another way. Alex told his brother Frank about the great girl he was dating, and mentioned she had a sister. Frank, a pilot in the Air Force, soon married Vera’s sister Betty. When the men returned from the war both attended Queen’s in Kingston, and rented a house to- gether. Alex and Vera lived downstairs and Betty and Frank upstairs. During the interview, the pair thought back to how long ago it had been and how

time had passed. Asked what the secret was to a long and successful marriage Alex said, “Keep the fights small.” As for Vera, she likes keeping control of the… television re- mote! Word to the wise… Happy Valentine’s Day.


RUSSELL | Although Alex and Vera For- syth have been married for almost 70 years, one of the longest married couples in the area still have quite a lively relation- ship. Vera began the interview but the mo- ment she couldn’t remember a detail she called in Alex. But even couldn’t agree on how they felt when they first met. Vera claimed Alex was shy with girls, and Alex, with a twinkle in his eye, claimed so many girls were after him he had to chase them off, which Vera said was something she sure didn’t remember. The pair were introduced at the YM/ YWCA in Ottawa in 1942 but it was not love at first sight. “He walked me home,” says Vera, “He tried to see me again, but I thought he looked like a kid, so I told him I didn’t want to see him.” When Alex joined the Air Force, though, and Vera saw him in his uniform, her opin- ion changed. “He looked like a man.” Alex was posted shortly afterwards, serving in Canada, India and Burma as a radar opera- after nearly 70 years together, they still

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