Still together after 60 years of ups, downs

DIAMOND DINNER: John and Emsé Bowren were treated to a 60th anniversary dinner by their children
DIAMOND DINNER: John and Emsé Bowren were treated to a 60th anniversary dinner by their children

LINTON Grange couple Esmé and John Bowren celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary being wined and dined by two of their three children, Blanche and Leslie.

Rev John Keates married Esmé, nee Walton, and John 60 years ago on January 15 at St Cuthbert’s Anglican Church in Westbourne Road.

“It was a lovely summer’s day. We had a garden wedding on a lovely spacious lawn with lots of flowers all around. It was beautiful,” Esmé said.

Retired electrician John and former commercial artist Esmé, now in their 80s, met through friends and dated for five years before any marriage talk.

Esme also used to be a seamstress and made her own wedding dress, as well as her daughter Blanche’s.

Esme also worked as an aerial photographer and obtained her private pilots’ licence in 1955.

“We had many ups and downs like any other married couple, but the Lord has seen us through all our trials and tribulations and has blessed us with many joyous times,” she said.

When Francis Phelps Church – later changed to All Saints – began in a garage in Kabega Park they joined and are still members. Esmé used to be a sacristan responsible for the care of the sacristy at the Anglican church, making banners still hanging today.

One of their happiest moments as a couple was a 1966 trip to the Kruger National Park.

“We were mesmerised by the beauty of the animals and the awe of nature. We always used to take our children with us wherever we went, and we are drawn into the beauty of God’s surroundings,” said Esme, who grew up on the smallholding Bramhope, now part of Linton Grange.

John, who grew up in Schoenmakerskop, agreed their love of nature was one of the unifying ingredients for 60 years.

The couple have twin sons, Terrence and Leslie, and a daughter, Blanche, as well as five grandchildren, and recently became great-grandparents to a second baby boy. “They make me feel younger,” John said.

-Caz-lynn Human

Esme Walton married John Bowren at St Cuthbert's Anglican church 60 years ago
Esme Walton married John Bowren at St Cuthbert’s Anglican church 60 years ago

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