Together...61 years and counting

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

When Ron and Agnes Crawford said their "I dos" during the Second World War years, they never had any doubts that their marriage would last.

"We had the same commitment that this was going to be a lifetime thing," Agnes said this week in their Safari Road home of 57 years.

After a six-week whirlwind courtship which led to Ron's proposal of marriage in a rose garden in England, the couple was married December 2, 1944 in Widnes, Lancashire near Liverpool. They met while stationed with the radar unit. Agnes, a corporal with the Royal Air Force (RAF) was a top radar operator and Ron, a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) attached to the RAF, was a maintenance technician. They worked on the same shift and soon began going out to movies, restaurants or dances in nearby South End.

"When we were married, we didn't expect the world," Ron said. During the war years, people's minds were on more important things, like "living through the day," he added.

Finding his soulmate proved to be easy for Ron. "You don't know anybody until you've worked with them," he said. When he saw how well Agnes got along with those who worked with her, he was duly impressed. "I could see she was a nice person."

Agnes soon joined the ranks of Canada's war brides, which numbered nearly 44,000 by the end of the war in 1945. She left her home of 24 years and came to Canada in 1946, following her husband who came home earlier to prepare the way.

"I knew I was headed for some strange and new experiences (by coming to Canada) but I accepted it as an adventure to be enjoyed," Agnes said.

Ron was well aware of the sacrifice she made. "She gave up her country and moved here, to an entirely new way of living." But the transition was made easier when she got a warm welcome from Ron's relatives. "She was accepted by my family right from day one."

Today, the couple who celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary two months ago, enjoy living on their 30-acre property just east of Brock Road. They have been actively involved in their community: Agnes served as past president of the local Home and School Association, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Women's League and Strabane Women's Institute, and Ron coached baseball and was the church organist for 20 years.

They raised a family of nine children (six sons and three daughters) and have 28 grandchildren. Over the years, family has remained very important to them and that was reinforced this past Sunday when family members gathered at the Westover General Store Caf to wish Ron a happy 90th birthday. The festivities included a ride in a white stretch limousine for Ron and Agnes, a first for both of them.

One of their proudest accomplishments was the part they played in securing land for the Strabane Community Park. Agnes was a member of the original committee back in the 1950s that looked into having the community purchase the property on the corner of Safari and Brock roads from a sand and gravel operator. In 1967, Ron chaired the local Centennial Committee that secured the community's purchase of an adjacent two-and-a-half acres. As a result, area residents now enjoy a nine-acre park that has become the pride and joy of the community.

Ron, who worked in the trucking industry for many years, was also a driver for the Wentworth Library system for five years before retiring. At one point, there was a lending library run by the local W.I. in a room of the Crawfords' home.

Retirement years haven't been idle. At 66, Ron took up lessons on how to play the organ and he has dabbled in art (watercolors and acrylics, mostly). He often puts his pen to paper to write thought-provoking letters to politicians and newspaper editors, and he shares his views with the regulars at Millgrove General Store where he often gathers with other men for a chat about world and local issues over a hot cup of coffee.

No matter what his interests though, Agnes and family remain the focal point of his life. "Family, to me, has always been the main thing," Ron said. And his war bride nods in agreement. "That's what's important," she said. "We're together on that."

Together...61 years and counting

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

When Ron and Agnes Crawford said their "I dos" during the Second World War years, they never had any doubts that their marriage would last.

"We had the same commitment that this was going to be a lifetime thing," Agnes said this week in their Safari Road home of 57 years.

After a six-week whirlwind courtship which led to Ron's proposal of marriage in a rose garden in England, the couple was married December 2, 1944 in Widnes, Lancashire near Liverpool. They met while stationed with the radar unit. Agnes, a corporal with the Royal Air Force (RAF) was a top radar operator and Ron, a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) attached to the RAF, was a maintenance technician. They worked on the same shift and soon began going out to movies, restaurants or dances in nearby South End.

"When we were married, we didn't expect the world," Ron said. During the war years, people's minds were on more important things, like "living through the day," he added.

Finding his soulmate proved to be easy for Ron. "You don't know anybody until you've worked with them," he said. When he saw how well Agnes got along with those who worked with her, he was duly impressed. "I could see she was a nice person."

Agnes soon joined the ranks of Canada's war brides, which numbered nearly 44,000 by the end of the war in 1945. She left her home of 24 years and came to Canada in 1946, following her husband who came home earlier to prepare the way.

"I knew I was headed for some strange and new experiences (by coming to Canada) but I accepted it as an adventure to be enjoyed," Agnes said.

Ron was well aware of the sacrifice she made. "She gave up her country and moved here, to an entirely new way of living." But the transition was made easier when she got a warm welcome from Ron's relatives. "She was accepted by my family right from day one."

Today, the couple who celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary two months ago, enjoy living on their 30-acre property just east of Brock Road. They have been actively involved in their community: Agnes served as past president of the local Home and School Association, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Women's League and Strabane Women's Institute, and Ron coached baseball and was the church organist for 20 years.

They raised a family of nine children (six sons and three daughters) and have 28 grandchildren. Over the years, family has remained very important to them and that was reinforced this past Sunday when family members gathered at the Westover General Store Caf to wish Ron a happy 90th birthday. The festivities included a ride in a white stretch limousine for Ron and Agnes, a first for both of them.

One of their proudest accomplishments was the part they played in securing land for the Strabane Community Park. Agnes was a member of the original committee back in the 1950s that looked into having the community purchase the property on the corner of Safari and Brock roads from a sand and gravel operator. In 1967, Ron chaired the local Centennial Committee that secured the community's purchase of an adjacent two-and-a-half acres. As a result, area residents now enjoy a nine-acre park that has become the pride and joy of the community.

Ron, who worked in the trucking industry for many years, was also a driver for the Wentworth Library system for five years before retiring. At one point, there was a lending library run by the local W.I. in a room of the Crawfords' home.

Retirement years haven't been idle. At 66, Ron took up lessons on how to play the organ and he has dabbled in art (watercolors and acrylics, mostly). He often puts his pen to paper to write thought-provoking letters to politicians and newspaper editors, and he shares his views with the regulars at Millgrove General Store where he often gathers with other men for a chat about world and local issues over a hot cup of coffee.

No matter what his interests though, Agnes and family remain the focal point of his life. "Family, to me, has always been the main thing," Ron said. And his war bride nods in agreement. "That's what's important," she said. "We're together on that."

Together...61 years and counting

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

When Ron and Agnes Crawford said their "I dos" during the Second World War years, they never had any doubts that their marriage would last.

"We had the same commitment that this was going to be a lifetime thing," Agnes said this week in their Safari Road home of 57 years.

After a six-week whirlwind courtship which led to Ron's proposal of marriage in a rose garden in England, the couple was married December 2, 1944 in Widnes, Lancashire near Liverpool. They met while stationed with the radar unit. Agnes, a corporal with the Royal Air Force (RAF) was a top radar operator and Ron, a member of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) attached to the RAF, was a maintenance technician. They worked on the same shift and soon began going out to movies, restaurants or dances in nearby South End.

"When we were married, we didn't expect the world," Ron said. During the war years, people's minds were on more important things, like "living through the day," he added.

Finding his soulmate proved to be easy for Ron. "You don't know anybody until you've worked with them," he said. When he saw how well Agnes got along with those who worked with her, he was duly impressed. "I could see she was a nice person."

Agnes soon joined the ranks of Canada's war brides, which numbered nearly 44,000 by the end of the war in 1945. She left her home of 24 years and came to Canada in 1946, following her husband who came home earlier to prepare the way.

"I knew I was headed for some strange and new experiences (by coming to Canada) but I accepted it as an adventure to be enjoyed," Agnes said.

Ron was well aware of the sacrifice she made. "She gave up her country and moved here, to an entirely new way of living." But the transition was made easier when she got a warm welcome from Ron's relatives. "She was accepted by my family right from day one."

Today, the couple who celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary two months ago, enjoy living on their 30-acre property just east of Brock Road. They have been actively involved in their community: Agnes served as past president of the local Home and School Association, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Women's League and Strabane Women's Institute, and Ron coached baseball and was the church organist for 20 years.

They raised a family of nine children (six sons and three daughters) and have 28 grandchildren. Over the years, family has remained very important to them and that was reinforced this past Sunday when family members gathered at the Westover General Store Caf to wish Ron a happy 90th birthday. The festivities included a ride in a white stretch limousine for Ron and Agnes, a first for both of them.

One of their proudest accomplishments was the part they played in securing land for the Strabane Community Park. Agnes was a member of the original committee back in the 1950s that looked into having the community purchase the property on the corner of Safari and Brock roads from a sand and gravel operator. In 1967, Ron chaired the local Centennial Committee that secured the community's purchase of an adjacent two-and-a-half acres. As a result, area residents now enjoy a nine-acre park that has become the pride and joy of the community.

Ron, who worked in the trucking industry for many years, was also a driver for the Wentworth Library system for five years before retiring. At one point, there was a lending library run by the local W.I. in a room of the Crawfords' home.

Retirement years haven't been idle. At 66, Ron took up lessons on how to play the organ and he has dabbled in art (watercolors and acrylics, mostly). He often puts his pen to paper to write thought-provoking letters to politicians and newspaper editors, and he shares his views with the regulars at Millgrove General Store where he often gathers with other men for a chat about world and local issues over a hot cup of coffee.

No matter what his interests though, Agnes and family remain the focal point of his life. "Family, to me, has always been the main thing," Ron said. And his war bride nods in agreement. "That's what's important," she said. "We're together on that."