The year was 1944.
Western Allies stormed the beaches of Normandy, Bing Crosby’s “I’ll Be Seeing You” topped the charts, and a loaf of bread was 10 cents.
That was also the year when 21-year old Grace Folkins and Albert Victor Marcolin,25, took a leap of faith and said ‘I Do’ after two years of courtship in the burgeoning City of Calgary.
And the vows they pledged that Aug. 19 afternoon remain the ties-that-bind three more generations of Marcolins together today.
Alongside friends and family, the couple is hosting a ‘best wishes only’ 70th wedding anniversary celebration Saturday from 2-4 p.m. at the Best Western Plus Columbia River Hotel.
Now grandparents to 11, and great grandparents to 10, the pair look back over the last seven decades with fond memories of their family and a tight group of friends who were side-by-side in work and play for over half a century.
“Over the years we met so many special people,” said Grace. “We were a ‘couple club’ and they were such special friends. And I think what is unique, is that we all had children who are all friends as well. That’s what I think about now. And of course my family, they top the special list.”
In 1937, the groom, known to all as ‘Marc,’ had just graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry when he and five counterparts were seconded to a munitions plant in the Albertan city.
It was there that he first laid eyes on blue-eyed Grace, a native Calgarian who was working as a secretary in the wartime factory.
“I’ll tell you what I did,” said Marc with a twinkle in his eye. “I walked the same path everyday, back and forth, to see her. After two years I walked it so much, there were holes in that sidewalk. So we decided it was time to get married.”
Marc’s career with CM & S (later Cominco Ltd.) took off soon after the couple said their ‘I Dos.’
Much of his working life involved a lot of travel, and he said, “Grace took care of everything else.”
The Marcolins had three children in a short span of time and the young mother was busy cooking, wiping noses and doing everything else that comes with running a household.
Thirteen years later, Grace had her “bonus” baby, and said she happily remained a homemaker.
“The last years in my job for Cominco, in particular, I was travelling and away from home a lot,” Marc recalled. “She took over completely then and all the years before that.”
When the couple arrived in Trail in 1974 and Marc became vice president of Cominco’s western region, the family lived in the company’s “big house” on Ritchie Ave. in Tadanac.
After he retired in 1984, the Marcolins moved to a new home three blocks west on that same road, and planted roots there for another 30 years.
Now in their nineties, Grace said keeping up their Ritchie Ave. house became quite difficult and another move was inevitable.
Since June 26, they’ve been calling Rose Wood Village home, though Grace admits that downsizing has presented a few challenges.
“We’ve gone from four bedrooms and three bathrooms to one bed and one bath,” she said. “It’s been a real challenge.”
And with her unwavering determination, she added, “But it’ll all work out.”