Love still blooms after 62 years

Doreen, 81, and Basil Bowers, 84, from Belthorn Estate, celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary.
Doreen, 81, and Basil Bowers, 84, on their wedding day, 62 years ago.

Basil, 84, and Doreen Bowers, 81, from Belthorn Estate celebrated 62 years of wedded bliss on Tuesday November 16.

Their love story started when Mr Bowers accompanied a friend to visit the friend’s girlfriend at the time.

“I was standing on the corner of Bromley Road when my friend walked past. He asked me to accompany him to his girlfriend’s house. I agreed. The next day, I was at his girlfriend’s place before he could get there. And the rest, as they say, is history,” Mr Bowers said jokingly.

Luckily their friendship survived for many more years after that, he added.

The couple were initially friends, and later dated for two years, before they were married at St Mary of the Angels Catholic Church in Athlone in 1959.

Ms Bowers smiled shyly when she said how she and her friends used to tease Mr Bowers and his friends when they used to cycle past them. Mr Bowers worked as a clerk for the City of Cape Town for 41 years, while Ms Bowers worked as a quality controller in a factory. The couple share a love for camping, and have passed this love on to their children.

Through the years, they had their fair share of challenges, Ms Bowers said, but the challenge that stood out the most, was when Mr Bowers was attacked in their home eight years ago.

“Our faith has taken us far. I would never have imagined to find Basil covered in blood one day in 2013 when I got home. He was in the intensive care unit (ICU) for a long time. Although the attack left permanent damage, I am just so grateful that he survived it,” Ms Bowers said.

Eight years after the attack, Mr Bowers still struggles with his balance. This means they can no longer do one of their favourite things together – ballroom dance.

When asked what he loves most about his wife, Mr Bowers said: “I love everything about her. She is a wonderful wife.”

With a laugh, he added: “There were times when she loved my purse more than me.”

And their advice to young married couples?

“Talk about everything, learn to give and take and remember you are not always right,” Ms Bowers said.

Mr Bowers, on the other hand, said a good piece of advice he received was “stil bly is ’n goeie antwoord” (silence is a good answer).

The Bowers have two children, six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.