Weddings and Celebrations: Give and take of a 60-year marriage

A MARRIAGE without communication is nothing say Sandy and Audrey Boreham, who met in 1945, were forced to separate but – because they remained in contact – have now celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.


The couple met just after World War 2 at university in the UK where Audrey studied art and Sandy architecture. And the secret to their success? “I think we worked because every time Audrey suggested something, I said ‘ yes dear’!” joked 90-year-old Sandy. But more seriously, he admitted: “it’s all about give and take”.

“I don’t know why she took a liking to me,” he wondered. But to Audrey, 84, it was as clear as the look on his face. “It was his smile.”

Sandy’s family emigrated to South Africa in 1948 but, because they saw the spark of a future with each other, they kept in touch by post and occasionally by telephone, “which was quite a complicated business and seldom satisfactory”, Sandy said.

In 1950, Audrey visited South Africa and decided to stay, falling in love with the mountains around Cape Town. They married in St George’s Cathedral on October 31 1953, Audrey being 24 and Sandy 30.

They spent their first 20 years in Cape Town which they loved but then in 1957 he was transferred and they moved to Port Elizabeth where Audrey, as Sandy described it, “cried her eyes out for over two weeks until she resigned herself to what PE was in those days”.

Today, though, after 56 years in the Friendly City, she has grown to love it.

“Sandy has always been considerate and thoughtful and that means a lot in a marriage,” she said.

They have two sons, Peter and David, who gave them five grandchildren.

After retiring in 1988 Sandy introduced The University of the Third Age to Port Elizabeth and he won this year’s U3A senior citizen award. U3A is a source of intellectual stimulation and enjoyment for people who are retired, he explained. “It’s a model that provides education by seniors, for seniors, with seniors.” It offers courses, workshops, talks and outings as well as monthly meetings.

When asked how Sandy knew Audrey was the one, he quipped: “Well, she told me.”

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