A 60-year love affair that started in Zambia

Hilda and Dennis Dawes.
Hilda and Dennis Dawes.

A couple from Pretoria recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Rekord heard their love story.

Dennis and Hilda Dawes, an elderly couple from Val de Grace in Pretoria who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Heritage Day, sat down with Rekord to talk about their epic six-decade journey together.

Hilda Dawes was born in South Africa, but moved to Zambia with her parents, shortly after her birth. The family settled in a picturesque little community, called Broken Hill back then.

“Dennis and I met in Zambia, what a beautiful place to start a relationship. We had a tremendous time over there, we lived a wonderful life, if we could go back to Zambia tomorrow, I’ll be so happy,” said Hilda Dawes about Broken Hill (today called Kabwe), the place where the couple met.

“My father worked in the mines in Zambia, so we were part of a very close-knit mining community,” says Hilda.

Dennis and Hilda met at the mining swimming pool, when Dennis decided to travel to Zambia for work purposes.

“We met at the swimming pool, and just fell in love. I wanted to go to Zambia for work, but ended up staying a few years when I met the love of my life. We got married and our son was also born there,” Dennis explained.

The Dawes celebrated with their 45 closest friends and family, a party with exquisite decorations, something that will not be forgotten quickly.

“My son gave us the most wonderful party, I do not know how he pulled it off, but I was, quite frankly, surprised that a man could come up with all the ideas and decorations by himself,” Hilda said.

“I have no admiration for gifts that you end up not liking, so I asked our guests to give me flowers if they wanted to. We do a lot of gardening these days.”

The Dawes’ are the proud parents of one son, three grandsons and two great grandsons, a family full of boys.

When asked what their secret to a happy and successful marriage was, they both answered with confidence — support for each other.

“One thing we have learned throughout our years together, is that you have to do most things together as a couple. Dennis always supported me with my sport, and I always supported him in his hobbies. We participated in each other’s interests and we made sure to enjoy each other’s company by making an effort to be together,” Hilda concludes.

Here’s to another happy and healthy decade of wedded bliss to the Dawes couple.

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  1. We thank God for them. Nowadays in Zambia, relationships end in few years. After all kinds of insults.