Extraordinary People

Woman reunites with first love after 70 years apart as they finally say ‘I do’

Fred and Florence lost touch when he was 18 and she was 15

Any lovebirds out there will know how hard it can be to be separated from your other half for a night, a day, or even an hour.

Let alone seven decades!

Yet high school sweethearts Fred Paul and Florence Harvey lost touch as teenagers before they reunited nearly 70 years later to pick up their romance from where they left off.

It all began in Wandsworth, a small town in Canada, when the couple met as teens and spent every moment they could together for two years before life somehow got in the way.

[Credit: Fred Paul and Florence Harvey]

Reflecting on their romance in an interview about their unlikely reunion, Fred revealed just what an impact Florence made on him all those years ago.

Chatting to CNN, Fred said: “She was my first love. My first girlfriend and my first true love.”

Yet when Fred turned 18, he moved to Toronto and it was au revoir to Flo, who was just 15.

Despite returning home a year later, this time it was his former flame who had bid farewell to the town and Fred failed to track her down.

Needless to say, in a pre-wifi world, he couldn’t just drop her a WhatsApp and they both married other people and started families.

[Credit: Hermes Rivera / Unsplash]

Yet Cupid was not done with them yet.

Fast-forward to 2017, Florence became widowed after her husband Len died of cancer while Fred also found himself single again as wife Helen passed away from various health complications.

This time around, they were able to connect much more easily and began speaking over the phone, helping one another heal from the shared grief over losing their spouses.

Florence, now 81, said: “I never thought it would go past that. But we went from talking once a week, to twice, to three times, to every day for hours.”

She added: “We had really reconnected even though we hadn’t seen each other in all those years. I knew this was it.”

As they began to rekindle their love story, Florence decided to surprise Fred on his birthday by visiting Toronto where they were finally reunited. A month later, they were married.

[Credit: Jamie Street / Unsplash]

Fred, 84, added: “When I found out she was in town and was coming to me, it was 10.30pm.

“I ran out of bed and got dressed and wrote ‘Welcome Florence’ in chalk on the driveway and when she arrived, I walked to the car, gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek, and I held her hand and I knew right away that she had taken my heart.”

Even the lead minister at the church where they held the ceremony said he couldn’t believe how powerful the love was between the star-crossed lovers.

Minister Paul Ivany, who has conducted more than 500 weddings in his career, said: “The ceremony was one of the most moving, most profound services I have been part of.”

The world may have lost Britney and Justin, but we’ll always have Fred and Florence.

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