Long lost lover never forgot his Lesley

2013-06-20 00:00

GEDDES Presmeg arrived in KwaZulu-Natal yesterday to wed Pietermaritzburg’s Lesley Smith, more than 50 years after they parted as teens.

As reported yesterday, the couple reconnected on Facebook and will marry on Saturday.

They were teenage sweethearts but lost touch after Presmeg moved to the UK in 1960 when he was 18.

“As soon as I walked out of arrivals I saw her. I told her I was going to go down on one knee, but after the long flight I would not have been able to get up again,” he said, laughing.

Presmeg was whisked to Liberty Mall where he and Smith chose engagement and wedding rings yesterday afternoon.

“I missed her all these years. I kept a photo of her from the time I left in 1960 until 2004 when it got lost when I moved.”

On Smith tracing him via Facebook, Presmeg said: “It is chance that this happened at this particular time … When I saw her message I didn’t believe it. I thought it was a con, I asked her questions to make sure it was her and it was. It was unbelievable.”

Presmeg is just as excited as his bride. “I’m happy to be here so people know I’m real. Our story is so unbelievable, and some of Lesley’s friends thought she made me up.

“My children think I’ve gone loopy getting married now, but they support me as I have supported them through their lives.”

Smith will move to Northumberland with her new husband after the wedding.

“If Lesley hadn’t found me and been persistent, I would have turned into, as my daughter says ‘a bitter old person’. I was becoming bitter, but now I am happy,” said a smiling Presmeg, as he held Smith’s hand.

It will be a double celebration for Smith, who turns 71 tomorrow.

• annzra.naidoo@witness.co.za

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