Gillian McAinsh unveils the tragedy behind two Bay widowers who have honoured their late wives in Herald competition
This year for the first time in the competition’s history not one, but two grieving grooms whose brides died just months after marrying have submitted entries for The Herald’s annual bride and groom competition.
What is more, the two men not only know each other and have become friends, they also share a passion to help others avoid the fate of their young brides.
Anver Agherdien married former Miss Port Elizabeth Bianca Harper at Mentorskraal in Jeffreys Bay last year in March, and Warren Jeftha married his fiancee Carmen Isaacs at Thunzi Bush Lodge in April.
Bianca, a 28-year-old pharmacist, was killed in a tragic car crash in November amid an unprecedented outpouring of grief around the metro. She was eulogised for her endless charity work, sharp mind and love of life.
Carmen, 33, who had been engaged to Warren for two years, was diagnosed with cancer in January 2014 and, after a gruelling year spent fighting the illness, died in November.
In a further bizarre coincidence, Bianca and Carmen died within a few days of each other.
Not only that, but both brides needed blood to save their lives, and both husbands made touching appeals for more volunteers to donate blood, not only for their loved ones but for the good of so many other individuals in need of the life-saving fluid.
Despite now being single, Anver and Warren still consider themselves husbands: last week they beat the February 11 deadline for 2014 entrants for the annual Herald Bride and Groom competition. They submitted photographs of a happier time of their lives, when they were a couple, not a widower.
“The reason I entered, it was Bianca, she really wanted us to enter the competition and I want to honour her in doing that. She even chose the picture. I sent it in but I did not know what to expect,” Anver said.
In turn, said Warren, Carmen also had insisted he enter one of their photographs and he, too, wanted to honour her memory by carrying out her wishes.
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