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70 years of bliss: Sudbury's Thomas and Louise Large celebrate incredible milestone

A love that blossomed in the U.K. brought the couple came to Sudbury more than 60 years ago
Thomas and Louise Large celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on June 18. (Matt Durnan/

If not for Thomas Large's inability at a crane game (you know the one where you try to pick up prizes with a mechanical claw?) more than seven decades ago, he and his wife Louise may not have been celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary on June 18.

The couple were surrounded by family and friends at Pioneer Manor Tuesday in celebration of 70 years of marriage, after first meeting at a cafe in Woolwich, England back in the 1940s.

Louise (Lou), is originally from Austria and was working in kitchens and dining rooms at local hospitals, and Tom was serving in the army. 

"My friend and I were having tea one day in a cafe, and two gentlemen came in and Tom was one of them," said Louise. "He was very shy."

Tom was busy trying his luck at a crane game, attempting to snag himself a pack of cigarettes. When his luck ran dry, his friend pointed out a pair of ladies who were smoking cigarettes, one of whom was his future bride.

"My friend told me to go over and ask them for a cigarette," said Tom.

"He didn't have any success with picking up the cigarettes, but he was pretty good at picking up girls," laughed Louise.

The two went out on a date a short time later and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Tom and Louise immigrated to Canada in 1956, where Tom worked at the mine in Elliot Lake and Louise worked at a boarding house. Louise admitted that Canada was not even on their radar when they were first planning to move from England.

"We were looking to move to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa," said Louise. "Canada, we almost ended up here by accident but we made many friends and we're so happy."

When asked if there was a secret to their marriage that has spanned 70 years, Louise says that not taking yourself too seriously and being able to laugh together is key.

"Just love each other, always be forgiving, always be generous with your love," she said.

Congratulations on your 70th anniversary, Thomas and Louise!


Matt Durnan

About the Author: Matt Durnan

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