Still stepping out after 60 years together

Evelyn and Marcial Schroeder were married at the Methodist Church in Russel Road on April 2 1955.
Evelyn and Marcial Schroeder were married at the Methodist Church in Russel Road on April 2 1955.

Sharing interests, hobbies Schroeders’ secret

DANCING has always been a part of their love story and today, 60 years into their marriage, Evelyn and Marcial Schroeder still take time out to share a dance or two.

Evelyn Ehlers, 78, met Marcial, 83, on a night out dancing with a friend in Central.

“My friend, Lorraine Moore and I had been dancing at the old skating ring at the Feather Market Hall in 1953 when we fell directly in front of Marcial.

“He picked me up and bought me a drink for my stumble and ended up walking my friend and I home that evening,” Evelyn said.

Marcial, who was a motor mechanic apprentice at Pioneer Ford at the time, and Evelyn, still a pupil at Pearson High School, dated for a year before he asked for Evelyn’s hand in marriage.

“I knew her mother didn’t approve of me completely so I decided to ask her permission to marry Evelyn and to my surprise, she said yes,” Marcial said.

The couple married six months later at the Methodist Church in Russell Road on April 2 1955.

“I had to go to the magistrate’s court to get a permit to serve alcohol at our reception.

“People drank until the early hours of the morning and my father and mother-in-law prepared all the meals for our wedding – it was truly an amazing day,” Marcial recalled.

The Schroeders had two children – Vanessa, 52, and Marcial Junior, 56 – before Evelyn decided to become a casual worker after spending 18 years at home as a housewife. “I decided to get a job so we could afford to send our daughter to university,” Evelyn said.

“Today she’s a microbiologist who is doing extremely well and we’re very proud of her,” Evelyn said last week while sitting at the Mad Hatter, the Walmer restaurant owned by her granddaughter, Nicole Schroeder.

The Cotswold couple credit sharing their hobbies together for their remaining close over the years.

They used to caravan across the country with their children and are devout Christians.

However, Marcial jokingly added one secret ingredient to their marriage: “We see couples our age who complain of aching joints and I always tell them it’s because they’re not having enough sex!

“Being intimate with your partner creates a healthy marriage. I tell people and it’s worked for us throughout all these years!”

Evelyn also cautioned that too often couples today rushed into marriage without fully understanding what it meant to be part of a union.

“Don’t get married too early, don’t be selfish, share everything – whether it’s good or bad – plan before having a family because education is expensive, and give thanks and praise every day.”

Evelyn and Marcial still twirl on the dance floor, this time at their granddaughter's mad Hatter restaurant in Walmer
Evelyn and Marcial still twirl on the dance floor, this time at their granddaughter’s mad Hatter restaurant in Walmer

-Nomazima Nkosi

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