Rev. David Brown and his wife Dorothy celebrated 64 years of marriage.

Rev. David Brown and his wife Dorothy celebrated 64 years of marriage.

Six decades and counting

Couple celebrates 64 years of marriage

What is it that keeps a couple together for 64 years? For one couple in Sooke the answer is slowly getting to know one another.

Rev. David and Dorothy Brown recently celebrated their 64th anniversary in Sooke by going out to Mom’s Cafe for a meal. Nothing too extreme, but well suited to the  couple who lives quietly by the Strait of Juan de Fuca along West Coast Road.

They have had their share of happiness and sadness in their 80 plus years.

David is 85 and Dorothy is 84 and they met 66 years ago in Portsmouth, England on the day peace was declared in Europe. They married in 1947 in India when David was stationed there with the Royal Army Service Corp.

Of the experience in India, Dorothy said they “liked it very much, especially the curry and rice.”

David remembers climbing up one of the minarets in the Taj Mahal. They lived in the married quarters and had a cook and a young boy who did chores. Dorothy was the only English bride there. By the time of the Indian partition the couple was back in England. But life in England after the war was not easy, rationing existed in the country until 1951 and it was then that the couple set out for Canada. Three of their four children were born in England, one was born in Ontario.

They left the vestiges of war behind but the memories traveled along with them.

David still recalls the invasion on D Day.

“It started with absolute hell the day before,” he said. “We were under sail at midnight the day before the landing and the sea was rougher than it gets on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. In the morning we landed at 7:05 a.m. and were the second wave. We landed right where a French woman was shooting at us, she had sympathies with the Germans. We blew the whole house down.”

His memories are vivid and he holds no warm and fuzzy memories of the war. He never did figure out why he was spared in the war until a time when Evangelist Billy Graham was in England and David made his commitment.

“He was guided along a step at a time,” said Dorothy in regard to David’s journey into theology and the church.

The couple spent most of their working life in Saskatchewan and Alberta then retired to Sooke 20 years ago. One of their daughters had moved to Vancouver Island and the couple liked the area when they visited.

Dorothy said David was born on the south coast of England and the ocean climate suited him so much better than the harsh prairie climate.

They have seen a lot of changes in Sooke over the last 20 years, but still feel like it has a small town atmosphere. They love and appreciate the rural surroundings but David said, “politically it’s been a mess, locally and provincially.”

Not one to mince words, when asked if it was love at first sight, David said, “no.”

They said they grew into it. After writing letters to each other for 18 months, David proposed in a letter.

“He told me he got to know me through my letters,” said Dorothy.

“I think we’ve both been really blessed to be able to live together so long.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ronald Schinners, owner of The Cabbie in the #YYJ, opened his taxi service in the West Shore last month. (Dawn Gibson/News Staff)
‘One man show,’ The Cabbie in the #YYJ cultivates 45,000 followers on Instagram

New taxi company brings unusual spunk to the West Shore

Zahra Rayani-Kanji of Heart Pharmacy, Sidney Pharmacy manager James McCullough, and Naz Rayani, owner and founder of Heart Pharmacy, join sisters Becky Brigham and Judy Costanzo outside the business. Sidney Pharmacy has become the sixth Heart Pharmacy outlet in Greater Victoria after its purchase from Brigham and Costanzo. Their parents, Frances and Jim Brigham, first opened the business in 1959. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney Pharmacy changes ownership, but retains family tradition

First opened by Frances and Jim Brigham in 1959, Sidney Pharmacy is now part of Heart Pharmacy

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has in the past warned of Öffnungsdiskusionorgien (translated as an orgy of discussions about openings), one of one of the 1,200 words added to the German lexicon as reported by the Leibniz Institute for the German Language. (Michael Kappeler/Pool via AP)
German lexicon grows by 1,200 words, many inspired by COVID-19 pandemic

Öffnungsdiskusionorgie (orgy of discussions about openings) among new entries

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead in ‘targeted incident’ on Sooke Road

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

(Black Press Media files)
Medicine gardens help Victoria’s Indigenous kids in care stay culturally connected

Traditional plants brought to the homes of Indigenous kids amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

More than ever before, as pandemic conditions persist, the threat of data breaches and cyberattacks continues to grow, according to SFU professor Michael Parent. (Pixabay photo)
SFU expert unveils 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed cybersecurity

Recognizing these changes is the first in a series of steps to mitigate them once the pandemic ends, and before the next: Michael Parent

Most Read