After more than seven decades together, Cornelius and Anne Bergen still have newlywed eyes for each other.
The Hatzic couple celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary Nov. 7 with a lunch at a local restaurant, and refused any more fuss. They’ll have a big party in two years when they mark their 75th year of marriage, they say. Their eight children live in different parts of the world and recently visited Mission to celebrate their birthdays.
Cornelius is 93 and Anne is 91. They laugh at the thought that three of their children are seniors and they are in better health than some of them. The Bergens have 16 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren.
The pair attribute their good health to not drinking or smoking, and always getting out, whether it’s to work in the garden, or simply go for a walk.
Both of them still drive.
Anne and Cornelius were neighbours while growing up in Saskatchewan. Their family farms were about two miles apart and Cornelius was good friends with Anne’s brother. After the young couple married, they moved to B.C. to look for work and settled in places like Burns Lake and Fort St. John before retiring in Mission.
They farmed and had their own construction business of which Anne was secretary. They built their retirement house in Hatzic and moved there in 1990.
“It doesn’t seem like 73 years,” said Anne about their marriage. “The time has gone by so fast.”
Her husband agrees. “Life has been good — uncommonly good.”
The secret to a long lasting marriage? Love and respect each other and keep an open mind.
You won’t always see things the same, said Cornelius.