by Jan Lampen
Evan and Jean McGillivray were married on Friday, the 8th of July 1960 in the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg. Jean in a beautiful short dress made by her sister that raised a few eyebrows at the time. They met at a ‘Hamburger joint’ in Hillbrow where Evan was playing the double bass in a dance band. Jean was one of the top hairdressers in Johannesburg at the time and was planning a move to London to further her career.
For Evan it was love at first sight. Two weeks later he proposed and eight months later they were married.
Evan believes it was destiny that brought them together. And despite the normal up’s and down’s he simply refused to let the marriage fall apart. In Jean he found a real person with endearing qualities that completed him. Their partnership has grown and deepened over the years. From each other they’ve learned patience, compassion, trust and perseverance. Jean can’t think of a moment when they were not together and they are still inseparable. Evan is the first person Jean calls if she is in trouble. Without him she would not have found her Self.
The union produced three beautiful children in Greig, Paul and Kerry and as Evan now reflects: “We are not in this marriage for ourselves; we are here for our children and our grandchildren.”
Paul’s tragic death thirty years ago drew them closer. The fact that they were already members of The Christian Community and familiar with Anthroposophy helped them to deal with the loss.
“See you at six!” This is their family’s clarion call. At six ‘o clock every morning, Jean and Evan light a candle and invite Paul who would have been 54 this year, Greig (55), Kerry (45) and all their grandchildren in spirit to a circle for prayer and contemplation. This is the picture of a marriage that is special. Now Jean and Evan wait for something special in their grandchildren to unfold.
With lockdown, they’re not planning a big celebration and they’re not making much fuss about their achievement either. For them, sixty years is nothing. It is a way of Being. It is Life. And they would do it all over again.
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