A young girl sends a message in a bottle out to sea, and finds her true love.
It’s a love story befitting a novel or romantic movie, but for Audrey and Pat Robinson it’s the beginning of a real-life romance that has lasted 68 years.
The Village of Riverside Glen, a retirement home in Guelph, Ont. shared the love story of two residents to its website, which began in England during the 1940s.
It was during a family holiday to the Isle of Wight that 14-year-old Audrey Munroe dropped a message in a bottle over the side of a ferry into the English Channel in search of a pen pal.
“She threw this bottle in, thinking it would pop across to France, which was only 22 miles away,” Pat Robinson told local newspaper Guelph Today. “Of course, it got washed back in to shore.”
The message was found by Pat’s cousin who gave it to her mother after discovering the bottle washed ashore in the south of England. When it made its way into Pat’s hands, the then 15-year-old obliged the request, and sent a letter to the unknown girl.
After a year of sending letters to one another, Pat’s marching band was set to perform near Audrey’s hometown.
“I was in the Marines as a drummer boy,” Pat said. “It was jut by chance I said ‘I’ll go see this Audrey Munroe.'”
Soon after, the couple became engaged and Pat was sent to Hong Kong to serve during the Korean War. They were married in 1951 after he returned, and went on to have three children. The couple moved to Canada nearly 65-years-ago, settling in Guelph, Ont.
After the retirement residence shared the couple’s story to Facebook, the Robinson’s began to receive messages from people around the world.
“We used to do everything together, not one here and one there,” Audrey said of the secret to their long-lasting relationship.
“We’re opposites,” Pat added. “Opposites attract. She has the patience of Job, I don’t have much patience.”
Reflecting on their life together, Pat says he worries that younger people put too much value into “the big house, the big car and vacations.”
“Material things are not the most important things in life,” he shared. “Family, love, health, friends and respect are.”