Fifty years in the making

By: Erna deBurger-Fex – Reflections

 | Dec 24, 2013 - 9:25 AM |
Erna de Burger-Fex and her husband Alex on their wedding day. Supplied photo.

Erna de Burger-Fex and her husband Alex on their wedding day. Supplied photo.

Yes, it’s true! On Dec. 28, my husband Alex and I celebrate our golden wedding anniversary. We were married 50 years ago on Saturday.

Both of us were 22 years old with no real thoughts for our future. It was a sparkling day with the winter sun shining on the snow.

Our ceremony took place at St. Christopher’s Catholic Church in Whitefish — my parents’ church. Alex’s sister, Denise Fex, was a bridesmaid and my good friend, Sharon Heaphy, was the maid of honour.

My brother, Ron de Burger, was best man and Alex’s buddy, Ron Hewitt, was groomsman. My two little sisters participated as well — Liesje was my junior bridesmaid and my three-year-old sister, Lillian, was my flower girl. They were so excited to be included in the wedding party.

Our afternoon reception was at Creighton’s Cabrini Hall beside St. Michael’s Catholic Church. The CWL catered the delicious meal.

After we had finished eating, Alex and I went outside to have our picture taken by the statue of Mary, which was something of a tradition for Catholic couples in Creighton.

A surprise awaited Alex and me at the reception. Ron Fex and Alfio Taus had rigged up the telephone with the hall’s public address system.

It was an unexpected phone call from my maternal grandparents in Holland! Everyone heard the conversation and since many of our guests were Dutch, they became very emotional and wiped their eyes. 

It was a beautiful surprise, better than any kind of gift they might have sent.

About 10 of my pupils (all little girls) came to the reception to see their teacher in her wedding finery. I loved that and so did my parents.

We visited Montreal for our honeymoon, travelling by train. We fell in love with the city and returned over the years.

As the years passed, we were blessed to welcome three daughters. It was fascinating to observe the paths they chose for their futures. Each one is unique and we are proud of all of them, and of the partners they chose.

We appreciate and enjoy our five grandchildren, ranging in age from five to 25.

They have brought so much joy to our lives. We see all of them often and participate in their lives frequently. That is such a blessing.

Everything is new for them and and their excitement makes us look at familiar things in different ways.

Alex and I are ecstatic to be great grandparents to Aayden, child of our eldest granddaughter, Emily, and her spouse, Joe. Aayden is four years old and has already started school.

And so we have come to this fabulous phase of our lives, where we look back over the past 50 years and feel content. We are celebrating our golden anniversary and our family celebrates with us.

We have indeed been blessed.

Erna de Burger-Fex is a writer and retired teacher.

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