Never in their wildest dreams did Frank and Salda Lynch imagine they’d celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary under lockdown, but on Friday April 17 they did just that… and they could not have been happier.
The two met at a merry-go-round on the Foreshore, in 1949. Salda, 15 at the time, had caught Frank’s eye, and the two started chatting.
Their courtship began shortly after and ended just as quickly with a shotgun wedding after Salda discovered she was pregnant.
“It was not like these days. It was a big skandaal,” says Salda.
The nuptials took place on a rainy April day in 1950 at St Francis Catholic Church in Salt River. After, a party was arranged at Salda’s mother’s house in Regent Street, Woodstock, where the couple would live for the next 26 years.
They had three more children and although times were tough with “many ups and down”, they didn’t let those get to them.
“It was the best years of our lives,” says Salda.
Salda served as the “driving force” behind the marriage, always prudent with saving money while Frank was the “loskop”.
Frank worked at Reckitt and Coleman as a machine setter for 30 years before he was retrenched. He then worked at the Post Office before being boarded and becoming a full-time housekeeper.
Salda worked at Gilds Footwear Store in Salt River for 23 years until the business closed.
At 55, she started a new job at the Western Province Cricket Club, where she worked until retirement.
They both worked very hard and Salda’s penny-pinching became a family joke.
“We never spent money on restaurants or fancy holidays. For many years, we holidayed at Campers Paradise in Paarl. We never wished for more,” says Frank.
They bought their first house in Rugby, which they sold before moving to Bothasig where they lived for 20 years.
Frank is now 89 and Salda 86. They have fond memories of their time in Bothasig and say they had kind neighbours who often popped in for a visit.
Their only daughter, Joy Richards, says she cannot recall a time her father called her mother anything other than “Bokkie”.
“He’s been calling her Bokkie since the day they met until this day,” she says.
Frank and Salda’s health deteriorated after their youngest son died suddenly at 53 and they couldn’t cope on their own anymore, says Joy.
A carer was employed to look after the couple but was unable to cope with their demands she said.
“We had discussed frail care previously and broached the subject again and they agreed it was time they took the next step,” said Joy.
In September last year, the two moved to the Lilac Residence in Panorama.
After a “period of adjustment” they settled down and are very happy.
Due to lockdown, celebrations of the couple’s platinum anniversary have been postponed by the family which includes 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, and Frank’s promised beer remains on ice.
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