Burnaby couple celebrates 60th wedding anniversary
Gordon Bayliss liked the smell of roast beef his date’s mother was cooking when he dropped her off at home so much, he invited himself for dinner. He never left.
On June 21, Gordon and his wife, Muriel, will hop into a limo to be whisked from their home at Harmony Court seniors residence to a fancy dinner at Horizon’s restaurant to celebrate their 60th anniversary.
Gordon, 92, was a salesman for Kelly Douglas, the giant grocery warehouse that used to be on Kingsway, where Metropolis at Metrotown now stands. Muriel worked in the office, processing orders. Whenever Gordon brought in his orders, he took the opportunity to chat with Muriel.
“He was always polite and kind,” says Muriel of those office encounters. “We hit it off right from the beginning.”
“We just clicked for some reason,” says Gordon. “One thing led to another.”
That one thing was the staff Christmas party, after which Gordon offered to see Muriel safely to her home. When the warm scent of roast beef tickled his nose upon opening the door he exclaimed expectantly, “Is that roast beef I smell?”
Their courtship consisted of bowling and going out with friends. When they married, Gordon said there was only one rule; he would make the major decisions and Muriel could make all the minor ones.
“To this day, I’ve never had to make a decision,” laughs Gordon.
They never had children of their own, but they are godparents to four kids of close friends, who still call them “Auntie Moo” and “Uncle Gobo.”
They’ve travelled extensively, to the British Isles, Australian, the Caribbean, bus trips through British Columbia and Alberta.
“We’re always going somewhere every year,” says Gordon.
After retiring to Vancouver Island in 1983, they decided four years ago to return to Burnaby to be closer to their godchildren and the medical support they’d need through their advancing years. They settled into a couples’ apartment at Harmony Court, where Gordon is an active volunteer, helping set up chairs and tables for functions in the garden room.
“There’s always something going on here to keep me busy,” says Gordon.
“It’s been a good time, a happy time, a healthy time,” says Muriel of their 60 years together.
To which Gordon throws her a sly wink.
“We’re quite happy.”