A Heideveld couple say their faith in God, honouring their parents and living out the vows they made to one another are the reasons why their marriage has lasted 50 years.
Marina, 76, and Daniel Peters, 75, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Monday March 14.
The Peters’ relationship started 55 years ago, when Ms Peters lived opposite Mr Peters’s family home in Crawford.
“As a young woman, I moved out of our family home in Athlone and moved in as a boarder with another family just opposite Daniel’s family home. He was a fisherman, so he was more at sea than at home. Our courtship was also on and off. I couldn’t speak English well, but he taught me. After a few years, he asked for my dress size, bought me a dress and a ring, and we got engaged. We had no party,” said a giggling Ms Peters.
Mr Peters, by his own acknowledgement, is a man of few words. When his wife came into his life, he decided to give up working at sea, so that he could be home permanently, and he ended up working with his uncle as an artisan.
Asked how Ms Peters had caught his eye, he said: “I was sitting in the tree one day, just observing people walking by. As I looked around, I spotted her, and the rest is history.”
The couple were married at Wynberg court in 1972. Ms Peters did not wear a wedding dress. Instead, she wore a “hotpants”, with knee-length lace-up white boots.
“It is such a pity we don’t have any photographs of our wedding day. I felt so good in that outfit. I didn’t initially know it at the time, but later one of my siblings told me that the wedding date we chose was on the same day – seven years before – when my mother had died,” Ms Peters said.
After they were married, they lived in Surrey Estate for a few months before moving to their current home in Heideveld. They have one son and four grandchildren.
“I can’t complain. Daniel is a good husband and father. He looks after his family. He was a good worker, and Sundays were our family days when we had lots of outings. Thank the Lord we have a very good son.”
Their advice for other young married couples?
“When you’re young, it’s all moonshine and roses. Don’t neglect your spouse – this usually happens after your children are born,” Ms Peters said. “Remember your vows and live up to it – for better or for worse. With God in your boat, you can smile at any storm. The struggles will come, but don’t give up after the first challenge. Communication is important and respect goes a long way. Also remember that change is constant. We can’t go to the grave with hatred, so make peace whenever you need to. We can only give God all the praise and honour, because He kept us together for all these years.”