Yvon and Simone Essiambre pose for a photo during their wedding in 1949. This year the couple, who live at The Gardens at Qualicum Beach, are celebrating their 70th anniversary. - Submitted photo

Love story: Qualicum Beach couple to celebrate 70th anniversary

‘I’ve loved him all my life’

Seventy years, eight children, 16 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren later, Yvon and Simone Essiambre are still going strong.

The couple, who live in The Gardens at Qualicum Beach, will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on Feb. 23.

The couple’s love story began in the 1940s in the small town of Val-d’Or, Que.

“We were neighbours,” Simone said. “He was about 15, I was always in love with him but he was always gone looking for work.”

Their friendship eventually blossomed into a relationship and the two got married in 1949 when Simone was 18 and Yvon 20. They had a small wedding in a Catholic Church with a singing choir and family in attendance. Simone said the ceremony only cost about $20, which Yvon added that in “those days” was a lot of money.

It wasn’t long after their marriage that Yvon and Simone started their family.

Yvon was a jack of all trades, working as a logger, an electrician in mines and in heavy construction, many times working two jobs at a time. He worked for 16 years in a mine in Quebec and was eventually offered a better-paying job at a mine in Britannia Beach, which brought the family to Squamish.

“We had eight children to take care of, we needed money. We were living on $50 every two weeks for groceries for 10 of us,” Simone said.

Luckily Yvon was an avid fisher and hunter and there was rarely a time when the family’s freezer didn’t have moose meat in it.

Throughout their marriage, the couple bought five homes one of which Yvon built for Simone because “she always wanted a rancher.”

“He built me a rancher in Squamish, it was so beautiful,” Simone said.

The couple moved to Qualicum Beach four years ago to be closer to their large family. Most of their children and grandchildren live in the area, with the exception of two sons in Alberta and one in Ladysmith.

“Most are here,” Simone said. “My great-grandchildren that I love so much.”

Sustaining such a long marriage isn’t always “roses” Simone says, but the eternal love they have for each other has kept them together for so many years.

“I’ve loved him all my life,” Simone said as she looked at Yvon sitting on the couch next to her. “And I hope you love me, too.”

Simone said her and Yvon are opposites. He’s more quite and enjoys watching hockey on TV, while she enjoys singing and dancing.

Today, the couple enjoy shopping together and meals out with family. On Valentine’s Day they will celebrate at their home at The Gardens with a special dinner planned by the staff.

For their anniversary, Yvon and Simone have a big party planned in March where they will celebrate alongside their family and friends.

“I think the kids are more excited then we are,” Simone said with a laugh.

karly.blats@pqbnews.com

Just Posted

Giant gnome finds new home at Galey Farms in Saanich

‘Howard’, the iconic Nanoose Bay attraction, will be moved as soon as possible

Inspirational Parksville youngster Kaiden Finley dies after cancer battle

‘He was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Development cost charges considered to fund regional parks

DCCs to assist in funding land acquisitions and development

Parksville powerlifter qualifies for world championships

Buhler sets personal bests in both raw and equipped lifting events

Wires left dangling after van crashes into hydro pole in Dashwood

Road closed while BC Hydro crews dealt with situation

The good, bad and the unknown of Apple’s new services

The announcements lacked some key details, such as pricing of the TV service

UPDATED: Three dead in Surrey crash: police

Single-vehicle crash occurred around 10:30 a.m., police remain on-scene

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Coroner’s inquest announced for Victoria teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Military officer accused of sexual misconduct, drunkenness in B.C., Alberta

Warrant Officer Jarvis Kevin Malone is charged under the National Defence Act

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

Harbour Air to convert to all-electric seaplanes

Seaplane company to modify fleet with a 750-horsepower electric motor

40 finalists for Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards

Celebrating the best in commercial, community and industrial buildings north of the Malahat

Most Read