A Retreat couple who have celebrated their 50 anniversary say their love for each other has only grown stronger over the years.
Nicholas and Audrey Esau marked their marriage milestone during a small family gathering at their home on Saturday September 26.
Mr Esau grew up in Tokai, then moved to Steenberg, and Ms Esau was born in Heathfield.
The couple met for the first time at a church choral evening in Steenberg. Three years later, they tied the knot in 1970.
Mr Esau worked as a pharmacist for more than 40 years. Ms Esau was a part-time seamstress.
Asked what had kept them together all this time, Ms Esau said: “I believe that the day you made your vows it is not a promise just to each other but to God. So, when you are faithful to that promise God blesses and sustains your marriage.”
Mr Esau added: “We believe in God, and we share every decision to be made.”
Their daughter, Abigail Jacobs, said her mom, who turned 73 on Monday, was “the entertaining one, always poking fun and laughing”.
Her 72-year-old father, she said, was the more serious one. “But they always got along somehow.”
Ms Jacobs was joined at the family celebration by her brothers, Winston, 49, and Ferdinand, 45. Her parents also have five grandchildren, Leah, 16, Gina and Esther, 9, Kaelyn, 8, and Hannah, 1.
Ms Jacobs said she and her siblings had grown up in a “God-fearing home”, loved by their parents, who were both excellent role models.
“My mom and dad worked hard for everything we had, and we love and appreciate them both.
“My mom is a cancer survivor – she was diagnosed in 2001 – and my dad had a stroke in 2016 and actually had to have brain surgery. He also has high blood pressure.”
Despite those setbacks both her parents kept busy – her father with church work and her mother with her cancer-support group, she said.
“God has really been good to them. Other than those illnesses, they have been really good and healthy. Yes, the normal pains and spectacles, but good,” said Ms Jacobs.