CHEK Upside: Victoria couple nearing 75th wedding anniversary keep their love alive despite COVID-19 barrier

WatchA window separates them physically, but Hilda and Lew's connection remains as strong as ever.

Hilda Duddridge’s regular routine includes a half-an-hour drive and an 18 step hike in order to visit her 102-year-old husband and true love, Lew.

“He makes me happy,” the 95-year-old told CHEK News.

For the last two years, Lew has been living at Victoria’s Selkirk Seniors Village, where he receives around the clock care and is tucked into bed every night by Hilda.

Since mid-March, a glass window has separated the two because of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions implemented by the Selkirk Seniors Village.

This hasn’t stopped Hilda from seeing her husband. She still visits him every day and talks to him through the glass by using the phone.

The barrier hasn’t halted Lew’s chivalrous charm either.

“She’s no slouch, believe me, she is no slouch,” said 102-year-old Lew in a telephone interview.

Glenys Berry, the couple’s daughter says her mother’s visits give her father the will to live.

“I think the fact that mom has consistently come to visit him has kept him alive to be completely honest,” she said.

Hilda and Lew first met during the Second World War.

At the time, Lew was a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force and Hilda was a telegraphist from Wales when their eyes first locked at a train station in England.

“He came over to ask me if he could carry my suitcase onto the train….and then he sat beside,” said a smiling Hilda. “A week later, he asked me to marry him.”

The two have been together ever since.

After the war, the couple moved to Saskatchewan, where they raised four kids and had many adventures, including travelling the world by plane, piloted by Lew.

When asked what keeps the spark alive between the couple, Hilda said it is always trying to find the joy in everything.

“Try and be happy,” she said. “Make the best of everything and there’s always something good to look for . . . life’s exciting.”

The couple will celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary on April 2.


Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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