Bonteheuwel couple celebrate 50th anniversary

Richard, left, and Pamela Esau from Bonteheuwel celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Sunday.

Richard and Pamela Esau from Bonteheuwel celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Sunday. They met while at high school in 1966 and attribute their successful marriage to faith, trust, and honesty.

About 56 years ago, the couple, who grew up in Factreton, met each other when they attended Rochester High School in Salt River.

They both shared a love for the Church of the Nazarene’s youth and choir programme, also in Factreton, which was where their love blossomed.

Ms Esau described it as “love at first sight”.

They started dating and six years later got married at the same church and also at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court.

They had a small reception at their home in Factreton for close friends and family. At the time of their marriage, Mr Esau 72, was working as a clothing shop assistant and cleaner in the Cape Town CBD and Mrs Esau, 71, was a cutter at a clothing factory in Salt River.

Later they moved to Salt River, then Valhalla Park and then to their home in Bonteheuwel, where they have stayed for 42 years.

After the couple had their second child in 1974, Mrs Esau stayed home to raise their children. They had two more children and now have seven grandchildren.

Mrs Esau said that part of the challenges of living in Bonteheuwel was raising their children in an area which was already back then riddled with crime. She said she was thankful that she had raised her children strictly because they had good manners and characters.

“Quitting my job to raise my children was quite challenging as we went from two incomes to one. Feeding the family every night and keeping us afloat was quite challenging for us as was raising my family in Bonteheuwel. It was scary but we had faith that it would work,” she said.

The couple at Mrs Esau’s 70th birthday celebration.

Asked what he liked most about his wife, Mr Esau replied: “Her chicken curry with roti.”

He said that they had managed to stay together for five decades because of respect, honesty and commitment to each other.

“It’s taken a lot of communication and being open about each other’s feelings. Our children and grandchildren are chuffed about our anniversary. They also work very hard on their marriages and use us as an example,” he said.

The pair enjoy going for drives together and sleeping over with their children.

Mr Esau’s advice to young people getting married is to always work together and be open and honest with each other. “Be loyal and loving, that’s all,” he said.