Jean and Ron Melrose have a story of love that spans their lives. Both 82, they culminated that story after 65 years of being apart with a wedding Feb. 9 in Ponoka. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Couple marries in Alberta town after 65 years apart

The couple were born in Scotland and went to the same school and dated before his family moved

Some love stories take a lifetime to tell.

For newlyweds Jean and Ron Melrose, both 82-years-old, their story starts 65 years ago when they were teenagers in Kilsyth, Scotland.

Jean and Ron were born the same year, went to the same school and started dating in the early 1950s, unbeknown to their parents, explained Jean. “He was my one and only high school boyfriend.”

That all changed when Ron was 16. His family moved to New Zealand, countries and oceans away from their home and she was left to wonder about him.

Jean’s life took on a new course when she moved to Canada in 1969 dedicating herself to a professional nursing life while also getting married and having kids. The same thing for Ron, who also got married and had kids, plus had a long and distinguished career with the New Zealand Police.

“I sometimes thought of him over the years and wondered where he was and what he was doing,” Jean remembers. “He too wondered about me and looked at our high school class picture from time to time.”

It turns out Ron kept that class photo over the years, remembering Jean and their lives.

Life moved on but in 2015 — both were single again — Jean had a vivid dream that haunted her for weeks. “I felt strongly that I had to contact him.”

So, with the use of Facebook she asked her daughter to find Ron. All they had to go on was his name and that he was in New Zealand.

“I did not know where he was or if he was alive or dead or what his circumstances were. I just knew that I had to find him,” she explained.

About two days later Ron’s granddaughter connected and then Jean received an email from Ron. His message to her: “If you are who I think you are, this is wonderful news and we have got things to share.”

Jean received the message elated to know he was alive and well. Their meeting came a short time later when she flew to New Zealand to see Ron. The two became inseparable travelling to Canada and New Zealand together.

In reliving the details of their experiences Jean’s eyes would brighten and her smile would widen. She said he looked and sounded exactly the same — just with a New Zealand accent. “I’m thankful that we found true love after a lifetime of experiences.”

They married Feb. 9, 2019 in Ponoka at the Drop in Centre.

The wedding

There was something magical about the wedding ceremony that saw two loves meet and solidify their relationship with a wedding ceremony.

With a few close friends at the wedding, there was a feeling of love, warmth and care. “They all seemed to be with us,” said Jean.

At the point in the wedding vows where they state, “As long as we both shall live,” Jean and Ron, and then the entire wedding party, teared up. The truth of that statement struck everyone in the room.

For Jean, it’s a powerful lesson about love. “Love is more important than anything else in the world.”

She takes a pragmatic look at the whole experience.

“We must have had lessons to learn in this life before we came together,” explained Jean.

“My advice for couples is to appreciate the positive aspects of their relationship and not to dwell on the negative aspects.”

Jean’s matron of honour was Doreen Rausch while Ron’s best man was his brother Gifford.



jeff.heyden-kaye@ponokanews.com

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Jean and Ron Melrose have a story of love that spans their lives. Both 82, they culminated that story after 65 years of being apart with a wedding Feb. 9 in Ponoka. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Jean and Ron Melrose have a story of love that spans their lives. Both 82, they culminated that story after 65 years of being apart with a wedding Feb. 9 in Ponoka. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

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