40 years of love through thick and thin

Life begins at 40: Neville Chetty and his wife Mavis recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary
Life begins at 40: Neville Chetty and his wife Mavis recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary

An attempted robbery while on his way to visit his girlfriend was the push Neville Chetty needed to finally propose to his girlfriend, Mavis Hansen, 40 years ago.

Neville met Mavis when she was only 14 years old when they still lived in Kleinskool, and recalls how he had kept his distance then and never spoke to her until two years later when they had an outing with mutual friends to the beach.

“My brother was married to her sister and they had invited me to the beach with them. When I got in the car, Mavis was also there. I smiled because I realised this was my opportunity to speak to her,” Neville said.

Neville admitted that the outing was planned to get them together.

“We dated after she’d turned 16 and one day on my way to visit her, some guys tried to attack me,” he said, remembering how he had to cross a bridge to get to her house on a rainy, dark day.

“I realised that I couldn’t keep going to her house because those men might be waiting for me.”

And so on December 20 1974, Neville asked Mavis to marry him.

“She said yes and four days after, we were married at the magistrate’s court. We didn’t have a big affair, just went to a photo studio and took pictures for memorabilia,” he said.

Today, 40 years later, the retired shoe designer and office clerk and his wife have three children (no grandchildren yet), and acknowledged the ups and downs in their long marriage.

“When you get married, you vow to stick to your wife for better or for worse and that is exactly what we’ve done.”

-Nomazima Nkosi 

At Last: After almost a decade of trying to win Tanya's heart, she and Gary finally tied the knot in January 2001
At Last: After almost a decade of trying to win Tanya’s heart, she and Gary finally tied the knot in January 2001

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