Prince Albert couple reaches milestone anniversary

Jodi
Jodi Schellenberg
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They’ve made it through 65 years of marriage and still look at each other with love in their eyes.

Stanley and Elbertine Vermette celebrated their 65th anniversary surrounded by family and friends at their home in Prince Albert on Saturday.

Stanley and Elbertine Vermette celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Saturday, surrounded by friends and loved ones at their home in Prince Albert.

The two met at Cloverdale Dance Hall, where their generation would head for fun, fellowship and to take a spin around the dance floor.

When asked what he thought when he met Elbertine, Stanley said, “That’s my woman.”

“I don’t remember really, but he was a very good dancer and we all liked dancing,” Elbertine said about the reverse.

They continued going to dances and eventually started to go steady.

Stanley has lived in the Nordale neighbourhood his entire 84 years, but Elbertine moved there from the Atahkakoop reserve after they married.

Elbertine will be turning 85 years this month, which makes her about a year older than Stanley.

“He says I robbed the cradle,” she chuckled. “Can you imagine? Just one year.”

The two have had many adventures together. One that Elbertine recalled happened before they got married. They were in Hazeldell and ran out of gas.

“We had a can and we came along a car that was parked -- the people in that car were partying in the bush,” she said.

“We knew the bush, so we tried to steal gas from the car but they heard us, so they all came out and we had to run through the swamp to get away from them so they couldn’t catch us,” she laughed. “That’s the last time we tried that. That was the stupidest thing we ever did was try to steal gas for our car. We never ever did make it.”

Throughout the years, they continued to be there for one another. They had four children and many grandchildren.

“It has been good. There have been some rough spots, but it’s been good,” Stanley said.

Both of them worked, keeping busy while raising their family. Stanley owned P.A. Building Movers for 40 years before selling it in the 1990s and Elbertine worked at a nursing home for eight years.

Neither of them can believe they have been together for 65 years, since it seems like they were just married not long ago.

“Before you know it, the time has gone,” Elbertine said. “You don’t really think about the time, especially if you have a family you haven’t got time to think.

“Now when we are older, we have lots of time,” she smiled. “We are in our 80s and keeping one another company yet. We can get around and we are very thankful about that, that we can still look after ourselves and our house, with the help of our family of course, but we look after one another all the time, every day.”

They still keep busy, not just doing activities with each other, but they both have their separate activities they enjoy.

“I go and get a coffee in the morning and that is my day’s work,” Stanley joked. “Anything else, I can’t handle because I have a hard time with balance, but we seem to be making it good.”

Elbertine is a Jehovah’s Witness and helps the others work with Cree people.

“There are a lot of reserves around here and in fact there are thousands,” she said. “Everyone is trying to learn Cree to talk (to them) on the reserves. That is what we are doing right now is translating English into Cree.

“We do that twice a week and that kind of keeps me busy and I haven’t got time for anything else because we have to live to.”

The couple is very healthy still although Stanley has diabetes.

“We have been pretty happy and we’ve been healthy,” Elbertine said. “We have a hard time to walk but so does everybody else.”

They haven’t met any other couple that has reached the 65-year milestone and said the secret to a long, happy marriage is love.

“I would say it is love because you get into a lot of different situation and if you still love one another, it pulls you through -- it will pull you through no matter what,” Elbertine said. “That is what I would say it is, it keeps you strong.”

Organizations: P.A. Building Movers

Geographic location: Nordale, Hazeldell

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