The last time they met eye-to-eye was 66 years ago, and now, when they got to see into each other’s eyes again after 66 years, they fell in love. After all these years, Andrew (76) and Dolly (78) Saunderson got married on 20 March in Springbok, Northern Cape. When they were younger, their families were living next to each other in Usakos, northeast of Swakopmund in Namibia.
Andrew was hanging out with Dolly’s brother, Freddie, and Dolly was hanging out with Andrew’s sister, Rina. Dolly was 12 and Andrew 10. They were born on the same date, just 2 years apart, and in the same Catholic hospital. But in 1952 Dolly and her family left Swakopmund and went to Keetmanshoop, Nambia.
When Freddie died two years ago, Dolly wanted to let Andrew know about it, so she started searching for him. “I had to share the tragic news that Freddie had died twee weeks earlier,” Says Dolly, as we talk in Andrew’s apartment in Pretoria. The apartment is very untidy because Andrew is moving out of it to move in with Dolly in Keetmanshoop.
Andrew was a railway worker, and Dolly was an upholsterer who worked in a bakery. Dolly finally tracked him down on November 23rd, and Dolly sent him a photograph of them as children through WhatsApp. “We would chat right through the night when I called her,” Andrew recalls. “My cellphone account was around R945 a month.” Dolly shared that she never liked being alone and that she prayed for a man she could cherish till the rest of her life.
“On 5 March he took the bus to Springbok where I picked him up at two in the morning. He didn’t recognize me and asked whether he could borrow my cell phone to call someone. “I hugged him with open arms and said, ‘Andrew, it’s me, Dolly’.”
They are crazy in love, and Andrew proposed to Dolly in the Wimpy in Springbok. Dolly said ‘yes’ without hesitation. Dolly’s three sons and Andrew’s two daughters are more than happy that this couple has found each other, and that they are excited to be together.