Sask. couple celebrates seven decades of marriage

February 13, 2013 - 10:10am
Donna and Elwood Perry celebrate 70 years of marriage. paNOW
Donna and Elwood Perry celebrate 70 years of marriage. paNOW

A Prince Albert couple celebrated 70 years of marriage on Friday, surrounded by family and friends.

Elwood and Donna Perry married at 18 after meeting at a dance years earlier. Dances were held at a schoolhouse in the Qu’ Appelle Valley. They now have four children, 10 grandchildren and about 18 great-grandchildren.

“You get into little tiffs once in a while, you know, and then, but then you sit down and talk it over, laugh about it and carry on again,” Elwood said of what the secret to maintaining a long-lasting relationship.

The couple had to overcome spending years apart early on in their marriage. A month after marrying, Elwood went off to fight in the Second World War as part of the Niagara Rifle Regiment. At the time, Donna was pregnant with their first child, Donald.

Elwood was a part of the Allied forces that stormed Juno Beach at Normandy, France. When he returned home from the war, his son was three years old. Elwood supported his family by farming and then in 1970, he sold the farm and moved north.

Elwood expressed his surprise at the size of the event hosted by his daughter. He said he didn’t expect it to be such a big event.

The Perrys aren’t able to travel anymore and they plan to spend their Valentine’s Day close to home. But Elwood does have some advice for younger Valentines.

He would tell them not to get in a rush to judgement in their relationships.

“If you get into a little spat, sit down and talk about it, don’t turn your back and run out the house, you know. Most people do. And don’t shut the door on things. Answer it.”

-With files from paNOW’s Sean Leslie