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Peninsula Singers chorus ignites new love
Watching hockey and eating peanut butter sandwiches are a part of Millie Longden-Hall’s new life with her second husband. A long and winding road brought together the 82-year-old and her husband, 91-year-old Barry Hall. It was the passion for choir singing with the Peninsula Singers that eventually brought them together.
“I knew he was in the choir but I hadn’t really met him,” Millie said. She lived at The Peninsula in Sidney at the time, where Barry’s daughter works. The daughter suggested Millie introduce herself.
“I hesitated to do that being a well brought up young lady,” Millie said. “When you’re in a choir with 65 people you don’t get a chance to know the people on the other side.”
Millie sings soprano and Barry bass, so they’d not really met. In September 2006, Millie started thinking she ought to “pluck up the courage” and introduce herself.
“Neither of us were looking at that time for a partner,” she explained. It was the year each had lost a spouse, Barry after 60 years of marriage and Millie after 57 years. But a friendship formed. Then she was turning him down for rides to choir rehearsals.
“There again I said ‘no thank you’ several times, then I decided ‘hey why not,’” Millie said.
“We took turns driving and it just grew from there. I went in for a cookie and a hot chocolate after practice one time and it just went from there.”
By July of 2007 they were engaged and that October, they were married at The Peninsula with many family and friends attending. The Peninsula Singers, of course, celebrated the occasion as well during rehearsal break that October with a large cake, singing and many good wishes.
“We love music and we love life and we decided to date,” she said. “Music is our basic grounding. It’s such a wonderful social occasion. It’s a lot of fun and a lot of challenge as well.”
Millie and Barry have found one another after travelling a long distance, too. Millie is originally from Glasgow and Barry from Morden, Man. She has a son, a daughter and two granddaughters while Barry’s clan numbers 10 children, 33 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren.
“It’s been a wonderful experience this second marriage,” she said. “You have to be prepared not to expect the same thing twice. You can’t keep to your old habits.”
For Millie that means watching hockey and peanut butter sandwiches are now a part of her life.
The couple are on the 60-member chorus in the Peninsula Singers’ spring concert, the Long and Winding Road this weekend.
“I’ve always loved Beatles music. When I realized that song was going to be in the concert, slowly we began to relate to the fact that this has been a long journey to get to this point,” Millie said.
The Long and Winding Road concerts take place April 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. and on April 29 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $11 for kids under 12 and $22 for adults, available at Mary Winspear box office, 2243 Beacon Ave. or at 250-656-0275.
For more information visit www.peninsulasingers.ca.