Love to last a lifetime
Moments in time, glimpses of the past, and memories of days gone by.
© Corinna Yates photo
Mabel and Ken LeMoine hold up their wedding photo while seated at their kitchen table. The Port aux basques couple celebrated 70 years of marriage on April 27.
That is what Mabel, 86, and Ken LeMoine, 90, shared as they sat at their kitchen table going through old photo albums last week.
“Most of the people in these photos are no longer with us,” said Mrs. LeMoine as her eyes teared up.
Mr. and Mrs. LeMoine celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on April 27.
What is the secret to seventy years of marriage? When asked this question both of them answered in unison: love.
It seems simple enough, but with that came a lot of sacrifices for the couple who raised three children, a son and two daughters.
They married when Mabel was sixteen and Ken was twenty. They were both from Rose Blanche and Ken was away a lot, working on the fishing boats back and forth to Nova Scotia.
“We were married on April 27, 1942 on a beautiful spring day, and on May 5, Ken had to leave to go fishing,” said Mrs. LeMoine. “It was hard being a new bride and having your husband leave to go out to sea.”
Mrs. LeMoine talked about the first time she met Mr. LeMoine after a group of kids had gathered at the harbour to watch the schooners come in.
“I was wearing a tam and it blew off my head. Ken picked it up,” she said. “He was always winking at me in school and I wondered if he did that with all the girls.”
Both of them left school at a very young age to go out to work Mrs. LeMoine at age 12 to go house cleaning and Mr. LeMoine at age 12 to work on the lobster boats.
Mrs. LeMoine laughed as she recalled that memory from so long ago and said it only seemed like yesterday.
“It was hard back in them days raising a family with your husband gone a lot,” she said.
In 1953 they moved from Rose Blanche to Port aux Basques. They rented a house on the same street they live on now for twelve dollars a month.
Then they bought an old five bedroom home which they tore down and built the home which they live in now on MacDonald’s Drive.
They used the material from the old house they purchased to build the new one in which they raised their three children.
Mr. LeMoine hated being away from his family and once they had moved to Port aux Basques. He was lucky to land a full time job with the railway. Mr. LeMoine worked there until he retired in 1983.
Mrs. LeMoine described how they don’t go out now as much as they used to, they were always going to dances and social gatherings.
“Can’t dance no more, ain’t got the wind,” said Mr. LeMoine with a twinkle in his eyes.
However, that was not the case when their family requested a song on the radio for them last Monday. It was called the St. John’s Waltz, and they waltzed through to the end in their living room.
“We cried and waltzed that song right out,” said Mr. LeMoine.
The couple is very active. Mr. LeMoine still drives and Mrs. LeMoine still bakes homemade bread.
“I make 6 to 7 loaves of bread every three weeks,” she said.
She still bakes some and does her own cooking as well, although her daughters do come over to help out a bit more now with the cooking and cleaning.
When Mrs. LeMoine was seventy-three she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went through surgery and treatment and overcame that ordeal. Then three years ago she found another small lump, which turned out to be cancer. So off she went to St. John’s again for more treatment.
These days she is doing fine and still manages to get out to do some gardening and other things around her home.
“She is strong. She beat cancer,” said Mr. LeMoine. “We have had a good life together.”
They still attend church and other events.
The LeMoines feel very blessed to have such a loving, caring family around them. Along with their children, they have three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
They celebrated their anniversary this year on a lower key. They had an open house on Friday April 27 at their home and then had dinner at the St. Christopher’s with family.
“We did not want anything big and fancy for this anniversary. With a lot of our family members passed, we just wanted something simple,” said Mrs. LeMoine.
If there is a recipe for true and everlasting love, the LeMoines have got that recipe and baked it to the point of perfection.