Love at first sight – and beyond

FIVE HAPPY DECADES: Gayroo’niesa and Anthony Coltman will celebrate their anniversary on May 29. Picture: MIKE HOLMES
FIVE HAPPY DECADES: Gayroo’niesa and Anthony Coltman will celebrate their anniversary on May 29. Picture: MIKE HOLMES

Algoa Park couple celebrate 50th anniversary

THEIR eyes may have first have met on a sad occasion but that did not prevent Gayroo’niesa and Anthony Coltman from falling in love and now they are looking forward to their 50th wedding anniversary next week.

For Gayroo’niesa, who celebrated her 70th birthday last week, and Anthony, 72, it is simply understanding one another, love and the willingness to forgive that have been essential to their long and happy marriage.

It was at a mutual friend’s funeral that Gayroo’niesa spotted Anthony – looking handsome in his suit. Their eyes met, but little did she know that Anthony thought he had seen the most beautiful woman at the funeral.

A year later, on May 29 1966, the Algoa Park couple got married at the Congregational Church in the city, in front of about 100 guests. The reception was in the church hall.

“When our eyes met we just clicked,” Gayroo’niesa said.

Anthony said he was blown away by her beauty (including her long and beautiful hair) but upon talking to her he felt he had known her for a long time.

“All of my friends were at the funeral and we wanted to know who this beautiful lady was and I went up to her,” Anthony said.

To celebrate the milestone, their children have organised a December road trip for them to Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban on a luxury coach.

They have five children – Alwiya, 50, Fazel, 48, Nazzem, 49, Junaine, 45, and Yunus, 40 – as well as 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Gayroo’niesa and Anthony lived in Veeplaas before moving to Arcadia because of the Group Areas Act, and they later moved to Algoa Park.

Gayroo’niesa worked as a saleswoman at Edgars for 30 years before retiring in 2014 and she still often bumps into customers when at Greenacres and Walmer Park as she worked at both shopping centres.

Having studied at the Kempston Muslim Institute, Anthony worked for Lewis Painters, and then after retiring he worked as an independent painter.

An excited Gayroo’niesa said she felt blessed to have spent 50 years with her husband.

“Many couples divorce or something happens but I am so happy and this is something that I hope for all my children, she said.

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