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Double wedding: two couples celebrate 60 years of wedded bliss

Armand and Priscilla Arsenault of the Evangeline share a wedding anniversary with Thelma and Earl Desroches. Both couples were married on the same day 60 years ago.
Armand and Priscilla Arsenault of the Evangeline share a wedding anniversary with Thelma and Earl Desroches. Both couples were married on the same day 60 years ago.

They exchanged vows side-by-side in 1957. Six decades later, the four were together again to celebrate their milestone anniversary.

Armand and Priscilla Arsenault of the Evangeline area shared a ceremony with Armand’s sister, Thelma, and Earl Desroches on Aug. 21, 1957, at St. Philippe & Jacques Catholic Church in Egmont Bay.

Armand Arsenault from Urbainville came home to P.E.I. in the summer 1953 from Ontario where he worked inspecting the railroads.

When he left at the end of the summer to return to Ontario, he took a girl’s heart with him.

He corresponded with 19-year-old Priscilla Arsenault through letters for about a year before she packed her bags and moved to Toronto to be closer to him.

Four years later they were engaged.

Armand’s sister, Thelma, got engaged to her beau, Earl, around the same time, and to save the trouble of their families planning for and attending two weddings in the same summer, they decided to combine their ceremonies.

The two couples celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary together this year, not only celebrating their nuptials but their long-standing friendship.

“We had a great time,” said Priscilla.

She says the secret to a long-lasting marriage, or any relationship, is give and take and patience.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff; just be happy.”

Evangeline area residents Armand and Priscilla Arsenault along with Thelma and her husband, Earl Desroches, are shown on their wedding day in 1957. The wedding party is made up of brothers and sisters of the two couples.

In June, both couples attended a luncheon with P.E.I.’s Lt.-Gov. Frank Lewis and his wife, who were also celebrating their 60th anniversary.

The invitation had gone out to any Island couples celebrating their 60th that year.

Armand and Priscilla’s married life involves lots of travelling, including driving to Alaska in a motorhome and all across Canada. They have been spending the winters of the last 20 years in Florida, going on cruises, and other excursions.

Priscilla is thankful for their good health which allows them to travel into their 80s.

On the way back from Florida this past April, family had surprised them with an early anniversary party in Hamilton, Ont.

“They didn’t have an inkling what we were up to – that is right up until someone let it slip the day before,” said their son, Pierre.

Family members gathered on Aug. 21 in Miscouche to celebrate. Both couples have large families who filled the hall with food, family and fun for a traditional Acadian celebration.

You learn a lot about someone being with them for 60 years, noted Priscilla, and it’s nice to grow with someone who has different opinions and views than you.

“I don’t know everything, and his different views make me think. It keeps life interesting.”

While every relationship has ups, downs and their own little quirks, you just have to stick with them, and be patient, she added.

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