Bill and Glenna Bergen 25 years ago on their wedding day. (Submitted)

Sarah Simpson column: ‘Citizen’ ad leads to coffee and then a 25-year-and-counting marriage

I got a call the other day from a kind gentleman by the name of Bill Bergen.

This is another one that fell into my lap and I’m so thankful it did. I feel like it was a gift for my recent five-and-a-half year wedding anniversary. I hope you enjoy this story as much as I do. Here goes:

I got a call the other day from a kind gentleman by the name of Bill Bergen. He lives out Mesachie Lake way with his wife Glenna. On Aug. 27 they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary and he’d called to thank the Citizen newspaper for making it happen.

SEE RELATED: Youbou homeowner makes wedding perfect for strangers

It’s a good thing he was willing to connect the dots because I’ll admit I was perplexed at first. Times were different back then. There was no internet dating. There was, however, the newspaper.

“Twenty-five years ago I decided I was tired of the bar scene and my sister helped me write up this ad and we put it in the Citizen,” Bergen explained.

Now here’s where the story takes two tacks.

“My wife, she said she picked up the ad and a good month or more went by and she couldn’t throw the paper away, she just kept looking at the ad,” Bergen said. “Finally she wrote me a letter.”

Glenna Bergen, then Glenna Ohrn, had a different story.

“He totally forgot that I wrote a reply at midnight and decided that if I didn’t drop it off at the Citizen right away I might bail, so I got into my car drove to the paper and put it in the mail slot at the bottom of the door,” she explained.

Either way, the duo didn’t connect for about a month.

“I didn’t hear a word for a long time, then he called,” Glenna said. “He explained that my reply ended under the mat at the front door inside. They’d found it and told Bill and he called. The rest is romance, love and history.”

Well, first it was a coffee date, but six weeks or so after that they were married.

When you know, you know.

“We didn’t waste much time getting married because we knew it was right,” Bill said. “But we have basically the Citizen to thank for us being married 25 years.”

In 1995, two years into their marriage, the couple bought a home in Mesachie Lake to raise their family.

Glenna brought three children with her into the marriage and Bill embraced them all.

Sadly, their family home burned to the ground in December of 2010 and they lost everything, including their two little dogs.

“We’ve rebuilt and we’ve got a nice place and we’ve got four dogs now,” Bill said.

They’ve also got four grandchildren to dote on.

“You have your ups and downs like all married life but we’re still very much in love with each other and, overall, life’s pretty good,” Bill added.

Being relatively new to the marriage thing, naturally I asked the Bergens for advice.

“We are not experts,” Glenna explained, “just two people who are still married, and really love each other and our family.”

“We tell each other we love each other every day. The only advice I can give is love, trust, and appreciate the one you’re with. That is a wonderful bond.”

Bill put an emphasis on fun despite his more blue-collar approach to maintaining a life together.

“Put in the work,” he said. “A marriage is a commitment between two people and without that commitment and without being willing to work for that commitment it’s not going to last. Don’t stay mad, learn to forgive, and move on. Also one of my favorite sayings is ‘If you’re not having fun, what’s the point? Life is too short, get out and enjoy life’.”

Now that’s some advice I am happy to take.

Happy anniversary Bill and Glenna from all your friends at the Citizen. Here’s to another 25.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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