75 years later, Alberta couple celebrates rare milestone

A year after the end of the Second World War, Lavina Enns was a 20-year-old cook at a large farm near Linden, Alberta when she met the new hired hand.

Lavina liked what she saw.

"Love at first sight," she said. "When he came in the yard with the tractor, I hadn't met him yet but I knew then, that's my man."

Two months later, Lavina married Albert Enns.

That was 75 years ago.

Nine children, 30 grandchildren, 35 great-grand children and three great-great grandchildren later, they're celebrating three-quarters of a century of marriage - a union of very modest beginnings back in 1946.

"After we were married we had 35 cents," said Lavina "That was what we had.

"We had to work for our living, (and) we had no car and no house," she added. "Nowadays you would never have a couple get married like that - they've got to have everything."

The couple spent most of their lives in and around Linden. Albert was an electrician while Lavina ran their household.

They now live in a retirement home, just a few kilometres from where they were married.

They live in separate wings since Albert requires more medical attention than Lavina. That became challenging during the pandemic, as long-term care homes across the country limited movement in their facilities to keep COVID-19 from spreading through the vulnerable population.

"We couldn't visit them and they couldn't really visit each other, " said Gilbert Enns , one of the couples' sons." We saw them going downhill during that time, the interaction wasn't there and it really affected them. Once they were getting back together, they perked up again."

Lavina said when people ask her the secret to a 75-year-marriage,  there are a few things to keep in mind.

"Put God in the picture and keep Him in the picture," she said. "Another one is communication, that's very important to us..and if there is a silent treatment, it should only last until sundown. Then forgive and forget...and, end the day with a kiss."

That's a lot of kisses after 75 years and the couple says there will be a lot more in the future.