Long lost lovers excited to tie the knot

2013-06-19 00:00

AFTER 50 years of separation Lesley Smith can’t wait to marry her teenage sweetheart and love of her life at the ripe age of 70.

She tracked him down through Facebook.

Smith, soon to be Presmeg, can hardly wait for her fiancé Geddes Presmeg to arrive from London and become her husband. He arrives today, and has told her he will go down on one knee at the airport, so everyone will know he is marrying his love. They are getting married on Saturday.

Smith and Presmeg met at a Kearsney College youth camp in 1958, when they were both 16 years old and living in Durban. “I remember I was sitting in the grass during free time on Good Friday. He came and sat next to me and we started talking. By Easter Sunday we were together. The hymn that played in the church that day was To God be the Glory and that has been our theme song of our life,” said a smiling Smith.

They stayed together until 1960, and then Presmeg moved to the United Kingdom to train as a minister. “We never broke up,” said Smith. “He left me a Bible and told me ‘if you ever feel sad think of me’. I kept that Bible; it has been a life saver for me. We corresponded through letters, but he moved and we lost touch. Even so, I feel like we had a spiritual relationship our whole life.”

Through the years, Smith and Presmeg led their separate lives on different continents; Smith as a nurse and Presmeg as a minister. Presmeg married twice, He divorced his first wife and was widowed in his second marriage. “He told me his wife’s dying words were ‘Go and find the one who loves you’,” said Smith, who divorced her husband 16 years ago.

“Even though I moved on, I always wondered where he was, especially after my divorce. Then last year on Boxing Day my son and I were messing around on Face­book on my phone. I decided to search for him and when I found his name, I checked his profile to make sure it was him. When I was sure, I sent him a message saying who I was and our hymn To God be the Glory. He messaged me back asking me for my details.

“The next Sunday the first hymn that played in church was To God be the Glory. That was also the day Geddes phoned me and told me he had booked to come to South Africa. He hadn’t been here in 50 years, but now he was coming to see me. Initially, we wanted to just catch up but it just grew into a wonderful romance. Now we message and call each other all the time,” said Smith.

After meeting Smith in December, Presmeg proposed in February. Smith will be moving to North London after the wedding. “We are having a party on Friday to celebrate my birthday and a garden wedding on Saturday. I can’t wait! He is the love of my life, my best friend and my companion.”

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