Paris may be the city of Love, but for Valentine’s Day, the city of Pembroke wanted to celebrate love and honor couples whose stories are part of what makes the town special.
In January, nominations were sought for the couple who have been married for the longest, the longest married couple residing in the city, and the couple with the best Pembroke love story. The winning pairs were recognized at the city council meeting Monday.
Among those honored were Harry and Elvie Owens who were recognized for the longest marriage, 68 years. The pair are lifelong residents of the area and first met as classmates.
Though they started out in separate grades, when Harry changed schools, he took the advice of his teachers and repeated a year. A decision that he admits was difficult to make at the time, but certainly ended up being worth it in the end.
"It was a big decision to make, because I knew the people I had come into class with, but anyway… then I met her in the seventh grade," Harry said with a grin.
They were married after high school and never looked back.
What is their secret to a long and blissful union? Not dwelling on disagreements.
"Don’t fuss at one another," is Elvie’s advice. "If you disagree, just move on to something else."
Besides the Owenses, Downtown Development Authority Director Alex Floyd acknowledged the Pembroke Valentine’s Day couples recognized longest married residents at 59 years, Billy and Jewell Kennedy; and the winners of an essay contest, Bob and Debbie Floyd.