The secret is out. The key to a long-lasting relationship is an indomitable sense of humour.
Maurice and Pauline Stiles celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary on April 30 and say when it comes to sticking it out together, a sense of humour helps.
The couple met in 1943 when Pauline was visiting her sister in Vancouver. Maurice lived next door.
Pauline remembers Maurice walking her home after work each night before they were married.
“We didn’t have cars back then,” she said.
“Didn’t have money either,” Maurice replied. “When I was courting her, I earned $5.97 a week.”
The pair can’t quite remember how Maurice proposed, but Pauline does recall receiving the ring on Christmas Day in 1945. Three years later, in 1948, she and Maurice were married.
For their honeymoon, the Stiles’ were supposed to stay in a bridal suite in Edmonton after visiting with Pauline’s brother from Lacombe. However, because of flooding in the area at the time, her brother was unable to return home and took the bridal suite instead.
So the Stiles’ stayed on Pauline’s parent’s farm for their honeymoon.
“Bad timing,” Maurice said.
After their marriage, Maurice joined the Vancouver Fire Department in 1951 and in 1986, he left his post as the district fire chief.
He was only chief of the fire department, not at home, Pauline is quick to point out.
During their 64 years of marriage, the Stiles’ have presided over a large family – three children, five grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.
“Chistmas is a terrible time,” Pauline jokes.
After marking their wedding anniversary at the end of April, the Stiles’ are gearing up for a busy month of even more celebrations.
“There’s six birthdays in May,” said Pauline.
“Yeah, this is a bad month, we like to get May over with,” said Maurice. “Her birthday is in May too.”
Pauline recalls the 30 cruises the couple have enjoyed over the years, three of which they took with their entire family.
Maurice also has fond memories of their vacations, but feels the couple had more fun during the times they were struggling.
“As years went by, and the money was more plentiful, I don’t think the enjoyment was the same,” he said.
The Stiles are hopeful they’ll make it to their 65th anniversary.
“Maybe the kids will finally break down and pay for the party,” Maurice said.