Three Cape Town couples share the secret recipe that’s kept them together for 50 years

Veronica and Joseph Arendse are still head over heels in love. Picture: Supplied

Veronica and Joseph Arendse are still head over heels in love. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 14, 2024


Three Cape Town couples have revealed the enduring power of love and commitment as they celebrate more than five decades together.

Shared with the “Weekend Argus”, their stories offer a glimpse into the magical journey that have kept their hearts intertwined.

For Clive and Sandra Cox, love blossomed during the excitement of a soccer match in 1971. Sandra, helping her parents at the field, caught the attention of Clive, who couldn't resist asking about her.

As their eyes met, it was as if time stood still, and a spark ignited between them. Sandra described Clive as a “tall, dark, and handsome” figure who stole her heart.

Over the years, Clive and Sandra have built a beautiful life together, raising eight children. Their love has endured through the ups and downs, and they recently marked their 50th wedding anniversary with their children and 18 grandchildren.

The lovebirds first met in the year 1971.

“I met him when I went to help my parents at the soccer field where Clive was playing for my daddy’s soccer team in Bonteheuwel.

“My sisters told me this soccer player keeps asking about me. Then like in the movies I turned around and there stood this tall, dark and handsome man, with a cap on his head,” she said.

The 69-year-old said her father wasn’t too happy with Clive, now 77, at the time.

However, this didn’t stop Clive pursuing her.

“When I saw her I thought, she has a lekker paar bene jong (nice set of legs), then she turned around and that was it. I told myself she will be my wife, she will be mine, and here we are today and she is still mine,” Clive smiled.

After going on many dates to the bioscope, the couple fell pregnant and tied the knot in 1973. To this day they still hold hands, kiss and hug.

“I think that is what a lot of young people are lacking today. They are not grounded with each other. To be together for this long you need to love unconditionally; though there are lots of hardships and negative words, you have to remember to always come back to each other, to that very same love you shared years ago,” Clive said.

The Coxes love holding hands and kissing one another. Picture: Supplied

Albert and Francina Williams, share the same sentiment, that loving someone for decades takes endurance.

The couple, both in their seventies, met 52 years ago while attending the wedding.

“That day we took the same bus home to Manenberg, his mommy told him to walk me home and since that day he used to come say hello.

“I remember he needed to win over my daddy’s trust and we weren’t just allowed to court, we would go to the bioscope but never alone. But that never stopped us,” Francina says.

Then the two fell pregnant a year after they started dating.

Francina and Albert Williams back in the old days. Picture: Supplied

“When she told me she is pregnant, I felt happy, even though I was scared, I knew I needed to support her and my family because her father also made it very clear.

“We then started talking about wedding plans and got married in court a year after she gave birth to our first-born.

“We had two more girls after that and then also understand why her father was so strict,” Albert recalls.

Francina admits there were some difficult times.

“It wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows, we needed to compromise a lot. It took years to get to where we are, but we never gave up on one another.

“The wheel has to turn and you will again be on top, you just have to keep going,” Francina said.

The couple are still like two young lovers. Picture: Supplied

The couple also shared valuable advice.

“We had three children, who became our priority and driving force, but we also did not forget that we were a couple. It is important to never lose sight of one another,” they concluded.

Joseph and Veronica Arendse first laid eyes on each other in 1972.

Joseph and Veronica shares beautiful memories dating back to 50 years ago. Picture: Supplied

Veronica remembers exactly what Joseph wore on that Friday she saw him.

“I was sitting on top in the double-decker tramway. I still remember what he was wearing, a darkish pants, and blue and white cardigan, something just said to me there goes your husband.

“Strangely enough I didn’t even recall that he was the same guy who used to try and flirt with me when he visited opposite my mom’s house.

“To be honest, I didn’t even like him,” Veronica laughs.

She said it was Joseph’s persistence that eventually landed him the permanent spot in her heart.

“He came to ask my mother if he could help paint the place when we moved in, it was on the same road.

“Then we started chatting, the chatting turned into visits every Wednesday, because that’s how strict it was back then.

“My mom then added a Friday, which we used as our bioscope day and now we are here with three daughters, two son-in-laws and three grandchildren,” Veronica said.

The two also advised younger couples to always put God first.

“One thing we noticed is the younger people are no longer working together with their money. We still believe in ours, and not yours and mine.

“Then you also have to remember it’s not always going to be peachy, but you need to fight for your marriage and continue to do things together. Look at us, we might have expanded but we are still very much attracted to one another and each other’s company,” Joseph said.

Through their stories, these couples remind us of the transformative power of love. Their resilience, shared laughter, and unwavering support for one another serve as an inspiration, proving that true love has the power to withstand the test of time.

[email protected]

Weekend Argus