December 27, 2010, for most dawned just like any other day, but for Royce and Nancy Gibson of Barriere it was the day that marked their 65th wedding anniversay.
Nancy and Royce say during those years they experienced some difficult times, but facing them together they worked through the rough spots, living life’s joys and successes on the path they had chosen together.
Asked how they celebrated the anniversary of their 65th year, Nancy replied, “We didn’t have much of a gathering, it was immediately after Christmas and our children are scattered all over Canada; it would have been very difficult to get together. If things work out we will have a family reunion this summer, where we hope to have a celebration with friends and family.”
She also mentioned that a number of congratulations on their anniversary had arrived from many high ranking official people in Canada; and that was really a surprise; especially the best wishes certificate from Queen Elizabeth, that included a picture of Her Majesty.
Asked how the couple first met, Nancy said, “We knew each other already when we were in school, and we saw each other on sports days; but I didn’t like him very much then, he was too mouthy.”
Nancy said she changed her mind though when in 1943 she went to high school in Kamloops, and Royce worked at the CN junction there. They saw each other often, took walks together, and had a chance to really get to know each other well.
In that same year Royce enlisted in the Army, and for some time the couple did not see much of each other at all.
When Royce left the military, and returned to the area, he says “the love bug bit” and in 1945 they became engaged.
It was to be another year before the couple could be married; and due to the fact the senior Gibson’s had moved to Avola, Royce and Nancy say they decided to rent a small house there as well.
They were married in that little town on December 27, 1946. The couple say it was a bitter cold day and at minus -30° fahrenheit it was more than uncomfortable to take the mandatory wedding pictures outside.
“I did not have a wedding gown,” said Nancy, “ But wore a suit instead, which was more practical since I could use it again. When we were through with the picture taking and moved into the hall again I noticed that my corsage had already frozen.
“We hired a band to play for the dance, but that did not work out, because they all got sloshed. So Royce and I decided to play for our own wedding dance. We had been playing together already and so it was alright, we knew how to do it.”
When the couple left the celebration to return home to their little house they had a good idea what would happen; and when suddenly people showed up at the door banging pots and lids in an old fashioned shivaree, to the revellers surprise Nancy showed up at the door with coffee for everyone. Then the fun continued for everyone far into the night.
Nancy and Royce moved to McLure in 1953 where their first three children were born. When expecting their fourth baby they made the move to Barriere. It was January and Nancy remembers, “There was so much snow, it was not a good time to move.”
“We’d bought a house on Dunn Lake Road, but it was very small, having only four rooms; we had to add on to get enough space for all of us.”
Eventually they purchased 10 acres on Barriere Lakes Road, and in 1960 they formed their own company, Halfway Creek Logging, which they operated for 28 years.
The Gibson’s brought three more children into the world, bringing the total to seven, which kept them all very busy.
Nancy says as time went by she decided she wanted to work away from home, and therefore took a job with Barriere Home Support, which she kept for five years.
Royce retired in 1988 after many years of working very hard in the logging business.
The pair say that from that time on they now had the time to enjoy their home and property, with its gardens and most of all the great variety of birds that lived there undisturbed.
They also began to travel more, mostly to visit their children who have settled in places from Newfoundland to B.C.
In 1999 Royce and Nancy moved into their present home on Robin Drive. There they have a large basement room that holds their well utilized musical instruments, that they still use on a regular basis.
Royce also enjoys rug making as a hobby, and he has all the materials he requires to keep busy in that department.
“It keeps me going, if you don’t do something that interests you, life would just dry up,” said Royce.
Music has always been an important part in their lives; and is still an interest they share today. Nancy says, “We have played at so many dances and functions over the years, we now have those good memories. Now that we are in our eighties we don’t play in public anymore, but we always like to reminisce about the good times we had.”
Royce and Nancy say they have had a very good life together. They have seven children, 15 grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren with one more on the way.
“We feel truly blessed.”