Golden wedding anniversary

Aloysious Ron and Olga Williams have been married for 50 years
Aloysious Ron and Olga Williams have been married for 50 years
Image: Mark West

A casual visit to a neighbour in 1966 has resulted in Malabar’s Aloysious Ron Williams, 73, spending 50 years with his sweetheart Olga, 70, by his side.

Olga caught Ron’s attention in 1966 when he visited her neighbour in South End. At the time, KwaZulu-Natal-born Ron worked as a waiter at the King Edward Hotel while Olga was a pupil at St Thomas High School.

“Her mother was very strict, she wanted no boyfriend(s) for her daughter, so we initially went out to the movies and church with her parents and then only a while later they let us go out alone,” said Ron.

The couple dated for two years before getting married. Their fate was partly influenced by Ron’s inability to acquire a permit to stay in Port Elizabeth in the era of segregation laws.

“Because I was struggling with a permit, I travelled a lot between Port Elizabeth and Durban. That one year I made 11 airplane flights. Each time emigration office was on my tail. I would get on a plane home but flights were obviously much cheaper then,” Ron said.

They married at Gelvandale’s St Martin’s Catholic Church on August 18 1968 following which they travelled to Ron’s home by sea and were nearly caught up in Port Elizabeth’s biggest flood in September 1968.

“At that time Indians couldn’t travel, even from Natal to the Cape he had to get a permit.

“When the flood happened we were on a ship to Durban because Ron got deported and said he wouldn’t leave without me. It was only when we got to East London that we found out about the flood,” Olga said.

Upon acquiring Ron’s permit, the couple returned to Port Elizabeth to live with Olga’s parents in Malabar for nine years until Ron built their own house there.

The couple have three daughters, one son and four grandchildren, some of whom live with them in their Malabar home.

Ron runs RBM Building Contractors while Olga takes care of the house and the company’s books from home.

The couple, who enjoy spending time indoors and cooking, believe that patience and prayer are essential for a lasting marriage.

Advising younger couples, Olga said: “Give in to each other, do not give up when there’s a problem and don’t be selfish.”

“When we were young, our parents always taught us to pray and that has helped us in our marriage because we pray together every morning.

“Things are not always rosy – we have our ups and downs. But I look back and appreciate the life I have with Olga as she has also become my best friend” Ron said.

Ron and Olga celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with family and friends, starting with a thanksgiving mass in Our Mother of Perpetual Catholic Church and thereafter a celebration at the church hall on Saturday.