Five couples married 30 to 60 years renew wedding vows in Surrey retirement home

Henry and Sheila Rathler celebrated 59 years of being together and they sealed it with a kiss. Arvin Joaquin / Global News

Age is just a number when it comes to love and five couples from a Surrey retirement home proved just that on Friday.

Staff at the Fleetwood Villa Retirement Residence in Surrey held a wedding vow renewal ceremony for five couples who live there. The couples have been together for 30 to 60 years.

Residences, family members, and friends were present to witness the important milestone in the couples’ lives. In the middle of the room, Henry and Sheila Rathler sat and giggled as they looked at their old wedding photos. The couple have been together for 59 years.

“We’ve always got along, I mean we argue and fight like most people do but you don’t let it last,” said Sheila.

Henry and Sheila met at a church where she used to play with the band. One day, during a church barbeque event, Henry came along with friends. They approached Sheila and told her they got a ride to the beach. Sheila laughed as she remembered how their friends all climbed into the back seat.

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“They stuck me in the front seat with Henry… and that was the start of it,’ she recalled.

On August 11, Henry and Sheila renewed their vows along with four other couples – Nori and Wilfred Labrecque  (celebrating 60 years), Shirley and Ed Ervin (celebrating 60 year), Gladys and Ken Verhoven (celebrating 57 years), and  Janet and Bill Von Siemens (celebrating 30 years).

Wilfred and Nori Labrecque. Arvin Joaquin / Global News

It was an elaborate celebration with bridesmaids, groomsmen, and a ring bearer. The ceremony was followed by live entertainment from local band, The Notables and a cake cutting, and refreshments.

When asked for her advice to young people and couples, Sheila smiled and said, “Don’t hold a grudge… let it go, let it go.”


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