Sixty five years of love and memories

Jean and Archie Patterson recently celebrated their 65 wedding anniversary surrounded by family and friends at the Island Gospel Church.

The Patterson’s celebrated 65 years of marriage by holding a celebration at the Island Gospel Church recently. A large group of family and friends turned up to help celebrate the special day.

The Patterson’s celebrated 65 years of marriage by holding a celebration at the Island Gospel Church recently. A large group of family and friends turned up to help celebrate the special day.

Jean and Archie Patterson recently celebrated their 65 wedding anniversary surrounded by family and friends at the Island Gospel Church.

The two first met when Archie and his family moved to Noralee when he was in Grade 8. Jean, [whose maiden name was Brewer], grew up on a farm at Noralee.

Jean Patterson said she noticed Archie right away. She was in Grade 7 when she spotted Archie on his first day at the Noralee School.

“I remember he was walking with his brother,” said Jean, adding that she liked Archie from the beginning.

“I used to throw snowballs at him to get him to notice me and he would hide behind a tree,” laughed Jean.

This was in the 1930s. The Noralee School was a log building with one teacher and eight to 10 students.

Archie, born in North Battleford Saskatchewan, moved with his family to Noralee from Burns Lake in 1939.

Both Jean and Archie finished their schooling in Grade 8 and went to work, Jean to Wrinch Memorial Hospital in Hazelton and Archie spent two years working on the family farm, haying.

From there Archie went to work for Herman Johnson at Trout Creek and in 1942 he moved on to Owen Lake, working for Fay Short, threshing.

In September of 1944, Archie joined the Army, traveling to Maple Creek, Saskatchewan for basic training and then Calgary for advanced training. Archie then served overseas in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.

By this time his parents had moved to Prince Rupert and Jean was working at the Omineca Cafe in Burns Lake, later moving to Prince Rupert.

“When Archie came home on leave from the Army I had my eyes on him,” Jean said, adding that they had been sending letters to each other while he was away and seeing each other during the times he returned home.

She went on to say that she knew his whole family.

When the war ended in 1945, Archie was still on leave, working with his brother-in-law in Trout Creek, hacking ties. In January of 1946, he was called back for discharge from the Army.

In September of 1946 Archie and Jean married in Prince Rupert. They purchased a small cottage for $150. Jean said, “It was about 12 x 20 and had a cook stove, a chesterfield and an outside toilet. We were happy there and there was no debt.”

The next year they moved to Saskatchewan and worked on a farm. “It didn’t pan out so well and it was long hours so we moved to Prince George where Archie worked at a mill,” Jean said.

In July of 1947 their son, Albert was born.

“In 1947 we drifted back to Noralee when Albert was just a little baby. Archie worked for Fay Short in the bush and we also farmed cows.”

The Patterson’s then purchased a home in Colleymount, living there until 1951.

Their second child, daughter Marion was born in December 1949.

“In 1951 the price of cattle was really good so we sold up and moved to Palling, purchasing a house on Hutter Road. It was a nice place to live … we lived there until 1987.”

From 1976-1984 Archie hauled logs, owning his own truck and from 1984 to 1991 he drove a school bus.

“That was the best job ever but it wasn’t full time, it was only before and after school,” he said.

Archie retired in 1991.

From Palling the Patterson’s moved to Burns Lake, purchasing a home on Mulvaney Crescent, where they still live today.

When asked what the secret to a happy marriage is Jean said, “Every marriage has its ups and downs. Nothing runs smoothly and you have to take the bad along with the good.”

She also said that times have changes making it harder for newlyweds.

“Nowadays both parents work and it is tough on the kids. Young people also have a lot of debt, then they have a family and there is not enough money to go around …. back then you either bought it or did without … there was no credit cards.”