Couple still going strong after 65 years together

Mavis and Koos Faulmann celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.

A Grassy Park couple who have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary say a mother’s advice kept them together all these years.

Mavis and Koos Faulmann have five children, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Mavis grew up in Kommetjie and Koos in Sunningdale, where they met.

“We met after school on the road, and when I saw him, I said to my friend, I will get married to that one,” she recalls.

“He came to visit with my friends. He played the most beautiful songs on guitar.”

She was 16 when she married Koos, who was 20 at the time. “However, the first magistrate refused to marry us, as he said he will not marry children,” laughs Mavis.

But the reality of married life took some getting used to. “I had to work, cleaning houses. I couldn’t cook, and my mother, Marie, cooked for us,” says Mavis.

It was her mother’s words of advice that Mavis never forgot: “If you love, respect, give freely and be friendly, your bread bin will never be empty.” It’s those words, says Mavis, that have kept her and Koos together and helped them raise five children, Weeda, Hewat, Viona, Zenobia and Bronwyn.

Mavis will be turning 81 in July and Koos will be 85 this month. He jokes that the secret to their long marriage is just that: a secret.

“She can skel a lot and I listen to everything she says because I love her for 65 years and that is lifetime. I also make sure I behave myself.”

Weeda Isaacs, the couple’s eldest daughter, says: “There are many that are without their partners and parents. We are blessed for the way they have taught us, and they are living examples in teaching and showing us the way to remain faithful in Christ.”

Weeda says her parents were always there when they needed them. “They raised, fed, educated and clothed us. I’m sure it was not easy having the five of us to care for. I remember very well that when my mom used to call us, she went through all five names and the alphabet before she got to the one she wanted.”

Their son, Hewat, says he was grateful to be part of their anniversary celebrations. “They taught me when you make decisions with God included, it will always be a success. Yes, it wasn’t always rosy, but they have endured until now, and that is why I can thank my parents for being my role models.”

Viona describes her parents as the “pillars in our lives”, adding: “I remember the days when we had to be ready for church, and if not, we had to run with swirl kousies, and shoes in our hands, as my dad firmly believed in being seated half an hour before the service started. It taught us great values in life and to remain faithful.”

Zenobia says it is a “blessing” to be her parents’ child. “I salute them for the things they have done and still do for us. When my dad turned 80, somebody asked him how old was his father when he died. My dad said in his late 60s and if he dies and meets him over there his dad must call him uncle.”

Mavis and Koos in their younger days.