Perry and Kay Morrison sit in their home on Pine Lake, holding up their wedding photo from 1964. /VIVIAN COLLINGS Staff

57 years built on a foundation of faith and family

By Vivian Collings

Perry and Kay Morrison are the perfect example of how essential commitment and respect are to cultivating a life-long relationship.

The West Guilford residents have been together for 57 years, and it’s clear that their love is still strong. They have held on to each other through tough times and sailed through good times.

They raised a loving family within the walls of the house that Perry built over five decades ago; five decades of sipping tea and watching the sun rise over Pine Lake in their two chairs that sit side by side.

The doors of this home have always been open to friends and family, and the patient couple offer visitors a listening ear.

“Family is so important to us,” said Kay. “I think it’s very important for families to stay together and spend time together as much as they can.”

As members of St. George’s Anglican Church in Haliburton, they said their faith has always been at the centre of their marriage.

Perry grew up on a farm on the north side of Maple Lake. He moved to Bowmanville for a few years, “but I never considered that home,” he said.

Kay grew up in Detlor outside of Bancroft. She attended teacher’s college in Peterborough.

Perry went to public school in SS #5 in Stanhope, a building that still stands on North Shore Road.

He was one of the first teens through the doors of Haliburton Highlands Secondary School as a Grade 9 student in 1953.

“I came here to teach in West Guilford. I taught there for two years and boarded with Perry’s aunt and uncle,” Kay said, recalling how the pair met in the early 60s.

It was the very first place she taught after going to college. She then travelled to Sandy Lake in Northern Ontario to teach for two years. 

Upon her return, they were married in Bancroft in 1964.

Kay was 24 and Perry was 26.

Perry built their house with the help of family four years after they were married on waterfront farmland bought from his aunt and uncle.

“We started to build on July 1, ‘68, and we moved in July 1, ‘69,” he said.

There were only nine residences on Pine Lake in total at the time.

“There certainly weren’t all of these places when we moved here. This was a hay field,” Kay said, but the two didn’t mind watching the developments pop up around them. “More people has never been a problem. We have been very fortunate with our neighbours and are so blessed with the community we have here.”

Their three children, Nora, Gerald, and Jean, were all raised in the Pine Lake house.

“The lake was certainly a big part of everyone’s childhood, the children and our grandchildren. They all learned to swim here,” Kay said.

Perry would take them fishing, horseback riding, hunting, or help them with new projects like tapping maples to boil syrup.

Perry joked that the 57 years they’ve been married have been “too many,” making Kay chuckle, but it’s evident that the pair are more than content to be by the other’s side. Between their own hobbies, they’ve always made time for each other.

“Perry and I do spend quite a bit of time playing card games or Crokinole together these days. I do think it’s important for husband and wife to do things together, and it also keeps our minds very active.”

Perry added with a smile and wink, “I’d be better if this one quit cheating, though.”

Although they’ve been held back from some in-person activities they once enjoyed due to health reasons, they still attend Sunday church service virtually, and family is still at the centre of their lives.

“We’ve been so blessed with the family we have,” Perry said.

Their steadfast love and unwavering commitment is something we can all learn from this Valentine’s Day.