If there's something for certain courting has changed over the years. What has not changed is the love that springs from those early days of relationships.
Bryce and Rosalie Nimmo celebrated their 66th anniversary on Monday, February 12. Their story starts out in Estevan Saskatchewan.
“This was small town Saskatchewan, there were no bars, only beer parlours for men. About the only way in Estevan that you met a girl was getting invited to house parties, That’s how Rosalie and I met,” explains Bryce Nimmo.
He grew up all over Saskatchewan in a railroad family, but by 23 he was already working in the men’s clothing industry establishing himself in Estevan.
After a while, they met at a few parties, and love developed over time. Sometimes they would go “across the line” to North Dakota to go to bars for date night.
Estevan was only 5,000 people at the time and he said outside of parties, and church there weren’t many ways that people connected. Nonetheless, their love grew. It was a two-year courtship.
“Not necessarily all of that would have been courtship, we were in each other’s company for two years, but we didn't get engaged until well into the second year,” he said.
The proposal was unique.
“I told her there was something in the glove compartment and there was the ring,” he said. “She thought it was alright. I don’t know if I ever made the last payment on that ring or not.”
While today lavish celebrations for the bride and groom leading up to the wedding are the norm, for Bryce, it was a little different for his stag. The hotel was closed in the winter, but they managed to rent the beer parlour, and in the dead of winter they gathered around a space heater to celebrate his upcoming nuptials.
The Valentine’s Day adjacent wedding was no coincidence. Rosalie’s father was a florist, and it was an important time for his business. Rest assured there were lots of flowers at the wedding.
The wedding reception was at a restaurant called the Thieve’s Kitchen, and then they had a party in the garage at Rosalie’s parent’s home. It was a mild day, so they had the door open and had a lot of fun.
Bryce attempted to safeguard his car from revellers by parking it in the police chief’s garage, but it didn’t seem to help.
After the wedding party, they jumped in the car and went across the border to the San Way Ve Motel in Kenmare North Dakota for their honeymoon.
The couple were married in 1958 and moved to Calgary in 1961, already with three kids in tow. He started at Don Forsters Men's Wear and worked at another couple of stores until he and a partner struck out on their own, and continued raising their now family of four. In the mid-1970s he began working for then Premier Peter Lougheed. He was director of the Office of the Premier in Calgary, and then went to Houston and was the Alberta Trade director under the Getty government. Rosalie was trained as a lab tech, but when the kids were raised, she went to work at the Royal Bank and eventually worked her way up to working in the Vice President's office.
Eventually, they retired to the valley in 1996, when they opened the Taste the Past Bed and Breakfast.
When asked what the secret to a successful 66-year marriage is, his answer is simple.
“When you take a, look at the anchors of a family, there is no question Rosalie brought the kids up and put up with me,” he said.
“You think of 66 years and it goes by just like that, but at the same time. For 66 years everything we have done we have done together.”