Couple celebrates seven-decade union

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November 29, 2016 12:00 AM

SERIOUS VOW Jim and Olga Walsh celebrated 70 years of marriage Nov. 20, with friends, family and well-wishers stopping by to offer congratulations throughout the weekend. Inset: Olga looks after her hubby, taking the time to comb Jim's hair for a photo. JAIME POLMATEER LLS PHOTOS

Pair says there are three secrets to marriage longevity and the first: never go to bed angry

“Love beats everything; love will continue throughout your lifetime if you practise love and feel that whatever comes up, we together, can solve it,” said Olga Walsh, who celebrated 70 years of marriage this month with her husband, Jim.
“Good, we’ll enjoy it; bad, we’ll solve it.”
Throughout the weekend of Nov. 20, which was the day in 1946 when the couple got married in a small ceremony near Kitscoty, the Walsh’s celebrated with friends and family, and even received letters of congratulations from Mayor Gerald Aalbers, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Queen Elizabeth II.
Mr. Walsh credits love and forgiveness to the couple’s longevity, saying he never holds a grudge against anybody, much less his wife, and though the pair has its differences, they talk them over and always go to sleep in peace.
The two met decades ago when Jim was a softball player with other local farmers who liked to play, and Olga used to watch him from the stands, though she said Jim didn’t know it at first.
“He didn’t know I was watching him when he was a shy young man, a baseball player, and I didn’t even tell my girlfriend that, and she liked him too, but in no way was I going to let her have him,” said Olga, with an impish smile.
The Walshes also got to know each other through other local activities, like dances that were held at the nearby Myrtle Hill School where Olga attended before moving to Kitscoty High School.
The couple would end up dating for about four years before tying the knot, giving Olga enough time to finish up high school, and would have gotten married a bit sooner, but being a farmer, Jim had to wait for the weather to cooperate so he could get the harvest in before having time for a wedding. 
“It was cold, being Nov. 20, but we didn’t feel it was uncomfortable because we were very, very happy,” Olga said.
“So we were married on the 20th of November, then mom and dad had the reception out on the farm north of Kitscoty, and we had guests staying over and it was, in a way, a small wedding, but all the relatives we had did come.”
Shortly after the wedding the Walshes began starting their family, bringing their first son into the world in 1947, followed by six more children throughout the years.
To this day, Olga is still pleasantly surprised the two could stand the test of time and reach seven decades of marriage together.
“Seventy years, it’s just almost impossible; my husband said, ‘I’m going to live to celebrate our seventieth,’ and I thought to myself, ‘ha, ha,’” she said, a warm smile on her lips at the memory. 
The Walshes advice to young couples hoping to stand the test of time is simple: pray for each other, forgive each other, and never go to bed mad at each other.

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