To celebrate 60 years of marriage is a very exciting event but to have your best man and bridesmaid there, too, made it especially memorable for Dorothy, 82, and Richard (Dick) Johnson, 79.
There were 137 people in attendance at St. Mary's Hall to help celebrate with a dinner and a dance on Sept. 7 to honour the couple married on Sept. 9, 1953.
"We had the hall decorated really nicely with white table cloths and white chair covers and big gold bows," said Dorothy. "The chef there said the hall looked the nicest it ever looked. It was really done up nice."
In attendance was Paul Godin, best man, while Hope McNabb was a bridesmaid, who attended with husband, Gordon. Dorothy's sister Hazel took ill and could not attend the special event.
"It's not very often that people are married for 60 years and still have all their attendants still alive," said Dorothy. "So many of our friends, the whole crew that we used to hang out with back then - one or the other is gone."
People came from as far away as Saskatchewan and all six of their children were able to attend, along with most of their 15 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
"It was such a nice party and the music was so nice, with all the little kids dancing," said Dorothy.
Back in the day, a man used to get down on one knee to propose to the girl he wanted to marry, said Dorothy.
"But Dick didn't do that," said Dorothy. "He came down to my work one day with a catalogue from a jewelry store and he said 'I want you to pick out a diamond ring' and I said 'I'm just going for the wedding band.' When we were married for 25 years, he bought me the diamond and for our 60th we decided we weren't going to buy each other anything, we'd just have a big party."
After they were married, the couple lived in Big River, Saskatchewan, for about three years and Dick went to work in Shelbrooke. They then moved to Hinton with their little girl, Robin, born in 1956 and lived there for 10 years, where they had their other children, Renee, Pamela, Robert, Patrick and Fern.
Dick then applied to work at the Prince George pulp mill, and they moved in February 1966 and became foster parents for newborn babies the following year.
Dick was a supervisor at the mill for 25 years, while Dorothy fostered children and ran a day care. Then later, Dorothy and Dick ran a care home for seniors they considered extended family, even taking them on family vacations.
"Oh we loved them," said Dorothy. "We had some dear ladies and they were like a grandma in our house and we had a wonderful life, experiencing life with newborn babies. They would take one away and give us another. There were a lot of tears shed. But another one always came along, until Paul came along. He wasn't a real healthy baby and he would not be adopted and he'd be put in foster care, bouncing from one house to the other and then we applied and adopted him. Then we decided seven was enough to raise."
Unfortunately, Paul died in 2008 at the age of 40.
"It was a real sad time for us," said Dorothy. "But we've been really fortunate to have so many wonderful people in our lives and we enjoyed our little foster babies, had lots of fun with our daycare and then with the seniors we cared for."