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Royalty for a day, together for a lifetime

Billy and Janet Stacey have a word of advice for those couples wanting to make things last. They should know, it’s been six decades together. (Daniel J. Rowe, The Eastern Door)

August 30, 1958, a couple walked down the aisle as man and wife.

They’ve been together ever since.

Fast forward to yesterday (Thursday) when Billy and Janet Stacey were named king and queen at the annual Elder’s Luncheon as part of the Winter Carnival.

The charming couple sat down with The Eastern Door and talked about how they met, wound up together, and stuck through it thick and thin for over six decades.

“I met him before that. In fact, I didn’t like him. He was a pain in the ass,” said Janet, 80, getting a big laugh out of her husband, who’s 83.

“We were younger, we were playing games and he always used to squeal on me and tell everybody where I was hiding, and I told my mother. She said, ‘don’t worry about it. He just likes you.’”

When Billy’s sisters would come over to visit, they would bring Billy along.

“The minute he walked in, I left,” said Janet, the daughter of Jimmy and Sadie Wilson.

Billy, son of Frank Stacey and Florence Murray, stuck it out, however, and married Janet when he was 23 and she was 20.

“Once I found out that she was coming my way, and I talked to her father and the mother said, ‘take her! We don’t want her. If you think you’re going to have problems with her, you’re not coming here. He can come, not you,’” said Billy, as Janet nodded and laughed along.

The couple has three children (Joanne, Billy and Catherine), four grand children and seven great-grandchildren.

The couple’s sense of humour has clearly helped each other enjoy the journey, and each gave a word of advice for young couples wanting to make things work.

“Just accept your partner and be kind to each other,” said Billy. “Don’t forget to smile and stay with each other.”

“Patience,” said Janet. “Let each other have their space. It’s just give and take. Don’t hold grudges.”
Daniel J. Rowe
Daniel J. Rowe is an award-winning reporter and photographer originally from B.C. In addition to journalism, he produces and edits a Shakespeare-inspired blog and podcast called the Bard Brawl. His writing has also appeared in the Montreal Gazette, Canadian Press and U.S. Lacrosse magazine. His facial hair rotates with the season, and he’s recently discovered the genius of wearing a cowboy hat.