EDMONTON -- On Friday, couples at the St. Albert Retirement Residence had the opportunity to renew a special commitment.

The residence organized an event for couples to renew their marriage vows. St. Albert residents, Bob and Vicky Dodd, had the opportunity to renew their vows after getting married on Nov. 12, 1955. The two met in a rural community and said the key to their long-lasting marriage is love and respect for one another. Despite being married 65 years, the couple said their marriage has gone by surprisingly fast.

“Actually, it has gone by very quickly when we look back. You know life has been good to us,” said Vicky Dodd.

Vicky and Bob experienced hardships throughout their marriage, including the loss of their two daughters.

“We had crop failures -- all kinds of things happen, disappointments, and we’ve lost our daughters,” said Vicky.

Lori Kary, employee of All Seniors Care, said the couple is a true inspiration. For many of the residents, the ceremony was emotional.

“Just love in general, you think about your partner and some of them have passed on. It brings back a huge flood of memories.”

With the help of The Foundry Room, an event venue in Edmonton, the St. Albert home received decorations for the special occasion. 

“We partnered with the Foundry Room. They donated all the decorations that you see today. We also had Sweet and Savory Catering donate the cupcakes and cake,” said Kary.

The residents have all received two doses of their COVID-19 vaccine. By practicing social distance, pre-plating meals, wearing masks and keeping the capacity to 30 per cent, the event was made a possibility for those living in the home.

“This last year and a half has been really tough. With restrictions easing up this was just a beautiful way to have a party and celebrate love,” said Kary.

The couple signed a vow renewal certificate although the celebration was a mock renewal.

“It is amazing how the community can come together and support each other,” said Kary.

When asked on what advice the married couple would give newlyweds, Bob and Vicky said it takes the dedication to work through problems.