There’s no real secret to a long and happy marriage for the Dykes, one of Crofton’s royal couples with deep roots in the community.
Pam (nee Biscoe) and Danny Dyke have lived through all the good times and some tough ones, but still have a hard time explaining the bond that’s kept them together so long. They were married on Dec. 27, 1952 and celebrated their 66th anniversary just after Christmas.
“I know we keep very busy,” said Pam, 86.
“We’ve always got along, we like the same things,” offered Danny, 87.
“We’ve never had a problem – touch wood – kind of late now,” he joked.
Some couples can’t believe how so much has happened since they’ve been together and the Dykes are no exception.
“Lots of times I do when I’m daydreaming,” said Danny.
“Time goes by and you don’t realize it,” conceded Pam.
As residents mark Valentine’s Day today, younger folks can take inspiration from the Dykes and their enduring love affair.
Everyone always wants to know how a couple met so we obviously posed that question and it’s an interesting story.
Pam actually grew up in Victoria and her family came to Crofton during her early teens, setting up a “shack” at what’s now one of the Shoal Islands.
“I used to hang around with Patsy Dyke,” recalled Pam. “She said, ‘let’s go up to the dance.’”
That was at the current Crofton Community Centre during its infancy.
“They’d just built the hall,” noted Pam. “She said ‘it’s OK, my brother’s up there.’ We went up there and there was no brother.”
It seems Danny had ventured home and was in bed, figuring the dance wouldn’t be too eventful. Well, he was wrong.
“She (Pat) went in the bedroom and there he was in bed,” laughed Pam.
“That was the end of my single days,” quipped Danny.
“We hit it off on the first date. Everything clicked.”
Courting Pam proved interesting trying to get out to her secluded residence.
“I had to borrow somebody’s rowboat or wait for low tide or wait for her brother,” explained Danny.
Their period of getting to know each other was relatively short before they decided to tie the knot.
“We didn’t know our parents had agreed to it,” said Danny. “We tried to arrange it before Christmas.”
They were married in the St. Michael’s And All Angels Anglican Church in Westholme that was located near the cemetery by the Chemainus River.
“I wore my sister’s wedding gown that she wore the year before,” Pam indicated.
They didn’t have a reception and took a moderate holiday into the Okanagan to Armstrong.
Danny’s family included sisters Bernice and Pat Dyke (both deceased). Pam’s family included brother Fred Biscoe (deceased) and sister Pat (Collinson).
The Dykes have five children – Doreen, Jim, Laurie, Terry and Rob – that has branched into 15 grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren with a 25th on the way this year.
Needless to say, the Dyke home at Christmastime is packed, with upwards of 40 people getting together to celebrate.
“I’m so happy to see these kids,” said Pam. “My grandparents missed out on it all.”
Danny worked all his life in the logging industry. He bought his first logging truck at age 18 and kept operating Danny Dyke Logging until he retired in 1995, employing 16 men at the time.
“I was a jack of all trades and master of none,” said Danny, displaying his trademark sense of humour.
Valentine’s Day is always special for them, but they don’t go out of their way to do anything special. However, “we were in Australia one year on Valentine’s Day,” Danny pointed out.
Nowadays, it’s just important for them to be together.