A Musgrave Park couple is celebrating 50 years of marriage tomorrow, Friday October 25.
Herman and June Cornelius say that God has been at the centre of their marriage and the secret ingredient to their long-lasting love.
They say they have no exciting plans to celebrate this special day but shared some memories of their journey together.
The couple met through church. They were both youth members of the Battswood Baptist Church in Wynberg. June caught Herman’s eye on a bus trip for youth to the Caledon Gardens in 1957.
“I had my camera on me, I was taking
pictures at the gardens and then I saw her. I asked her to come take a picture with me and the rest is history,” says Herman.
June said she had noticed Herman before that day.
“I always admired him, he was a good-looking chap back then. I don’t know about now,” joked June.”A lot of the girls were after him because he was so good-looking, it was a problem when we were together, they were upset,” she laughed.
The coupled dated for a year and a half before they decided to get married in 1969. Herman was 26 and June was 28 years old.
“I was a bit of a cradle snatcher,” said June as she again burst into laughter.
Theirweddingwas attended by 350 guests at the Lansdowne civic centre.
They both said that the best part of the wedding was the honeymoon, which they spent at Paarl Hotel that night.
The couple beamed as they spoke about the earlier years of their relationship.
June worked as a paralegal assistant for a law firm in
Wynberg and Herman worked as an upholsterer in a factory in Epping.
The couple lived in their first home in Castle Road in Wynberg, and described
the first few years living together as interesting, as they got to know each other and adjusted to married life.
They had their first daughter, Juanita, in 1971 and their second daughter, Colleen, in 1974.
June said the arrival of her second daughter was a miracle, as she had three miscarriages after her first child.
“I had a tough time with pregnancy and I was told to not have more than three children as I’d be at risk of having what they called a blue baby back then,” said June.
June said a blue baby was described to her by nurses as babies who took longer to develop. She said she had experienced various problems during her pregnancy.
“I had to go in for three hormone injections every week throughout my
pregnancy when I was
carrying Colleen. One was at
Groote Schuur and the
other two shots at the day hospital in Steenberg. I almost lost her too. It was a very tough time but my husband supported me throughout.”
Herman said they survived that challenging time by trusting in God to “weather the storm”.
In 1999, they heard news that they would be expecting their first granddaughter, Kayleigh.
“As soon as I found out, I started knitting like mad,” said June. The couple, who have been living at Musgrave Park since 2011, have been blessed with four grandchildren.
“We still laugh together, this man is still funny and he takes such good care of
me, he does not let me do a thing. All he has done is given me a good life and I will
always be grateful for that,” said June.