Lovebirds everywhere will be celebrating that special day next Tuesday, Feb. 14, but every day is like Valentine’s Day for a Chemainus couple.
Lynne (nee Cozens) and Glenn Karran first met in Chemainus 60 years ago on Jan. 26, 1963 at the former Chemainus big hall where country music singer and songwriter Bobby Bare was performing at a dance.
Marking that occasion called for a special celebration in itself for the Karrans.
“We walked down there and had our picture taken and had a glass of champagne,” said Lynne.
Lynne was born in Nanaimo and lived in Saltair, first attending the one-room Mount Brenton schoolhouse in Saltair and later going to Chemainus Elementary School at the start of Grade 3. She graduated from Chemainus Secondary School in 1963.
Glenn was born in Rosetown, Saskatchewan. “After the war, my dad moved us out to Kelowna,” he said.
Glenn graduated from high school in Saskatoon and worked in the banking business, transferring to Duncan in 1963. “I was in Duncan at the time I met Lynne,” he said.
That fateful night at the Chemainus dance will always stand out in their minds. They’re just closer now to the scene again to remember it all the more.
“I had gone with a group of girlfriends and Glenn went with some buddies of his,” recalled Lynne. “I think we danced all evening.”
That set the stage for future meetings.
“I phoned my dad to come and pick me up,” said Lynne. “Glenn did have my telephone number.”
They met again at a basketball game where Lynn was cheerleading and then they went for coffee.
“A couple of weeks later, Roy Orbison was playing at the Agricultural Hall in Ladysmith and we went to that dance as well,” said Lynne.
Well-known Vancouver radio personality Red Robinson arranged a lot of those shows and Orbison was in the early stages of a powerhouse career at the time that provided an especially memorable event for Lynne and Glenn’s blossoming love.
But they had to make it a long-distance relationship for a while before getting together for good.
“I went off to nursing school,” noted Lynne. “We still dated and Glenn got transferred around a couple of times.”
They exchanged numerous love letters during those times when they were away from each other and still have those letters in his and hers boxes. No emails in those days, kids.
The rest, as they say, is history and the two were married at the Chemainus United Church in a holiday spectacular ceremony on Dec. 26, 1964.
Their life has gone full circle since then through many different communities, among them: Port Coquitlam, Vancouver, Port Hardy, Quesnel, Kelowna, Prince Rupert, Delta, Courtenay and Squamish.
They were on the move, Lynne said, “every two or three years.”
They relocated more than RCMP officers. Ironically, one of their three children, Jeffrey, went into the RCMP and is now in the national security department in Ottawa.
Eldest daughter Laurie is a retired teacher living in Saltair, who did her initial practicum at Chemainus Elementary, and daughter Kelly is a science teacher in London, England but will soon be relocating to Whistler.
After the constant nomadic ways ended and the Karrans lived in Squamish some 20 years, they were looking for one final place to settle and wound up back in Chemainus about a year ago where it all began.
“We both wanted to be back on the Island,” said Lynne.
After searching around, Chemainus just had that special quality they were looking for as the ideal place to live.
“The quaintness and the quietness,” elaborated Lynne. “It’s a really friendly town. It’s got such a positive attitude about it. It appealed to us.”
Both cite three key ingredients that have kept their bond strong over the years.
“Love, honesty and respect,” said Lynne.
Glenn concurred and added “she’s always been there for me.”
“I’m pretty pleased I found a keeper,” enthused Lynne. “We both have enjoyed lots of activities and have fun together.”
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