Victoria love story five decades in the making


WATCH: A Victoria woman reconnects with her long-lost love after 50 years, thanks to a Facebook message. Tess van Straaten has their remarkable story.

Walking hand-in-hand on Valentine’s Day, it’s clear Gillian Manson and Nick Bowers are madly in love.

“The very first time we met we were in a beer parlour in Calgary,” explains Gillian Mason.

It was 1968 and for both, it was an instant attraction.

“With me, it was an immediate attraction to Nick, absolutely,” says Manson. “It was chemical, intellectual and animal.”

“I thought she was interesting and quite nice,” adds Bowers.

It didn’t take long for the young couple to move in together. But their whirlwind romance came to an end when Bowers went home to England for a holiday

“Circumstances contrived against me and I didn’t come back,” says Bowers.

“He got married!” Manson points out.

Bowers quickly realized he’d made a mistake and he tried to find Gillian but as time went by, she also married and he was searching by her maiden name and didn’t have any luck until last October.

“I was sitting as I do every morning taking a quick look at Facebook to see what my children are up to and this little message popped up, ‘you certainly remind me of somebody I used to know’ and I couldn’t believe it,” Manson says.

Bowers was living in France at the time and two-and-a-half weeks after that fateful Facebook message, Mason went to see her long-lost love.

“He clutched me and he was [shaking] and I said, ‘have you got Parkinson’s? And he said no, it’s passion,'” Mason jokes.

For the pair, now in their 70s, it’s a love story five decades in the making.

“It’s incredible,” says Bowers. “It’s not something many people can experience but I think we were fortunate to do it.”

Bowers is now moving to Victoria to be with the love of his life. And their secret to lasting love?

“Separate for 50 years and you’ll find it’s a piece of cake after that,” Mason laughs.

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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