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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

We Weren't the Only Two!

The following heart-warming story that made national headlines back in August 1982 and then again in March 2015. Since then I have been wanting to add my comments.

I recall first reading this story back in August 1982 because it many remarkable ways their story was very similar if not almost identical to our own. If anyone has read other posts in this blog, then the reasons are obvious.

Although our journey down that similar road had a two-year head start, Kie and I never made it into the news. That idea had never occurred to either of us.

Kie and I have never had any contact whatsoever with this famous MacDonald couple, however, if there is one anecdote I could add, then it is this: 

My family name is not MacDonald but my mother's certainly was. In exasperation with me at times, Mom would eventually comment, "The MacDonald's were known for being stubborn." 

To travel those unmapped roads back then, a certain amount of that MacDonald stubbornness didn't hurt.

Read on and enjoy their wonderful story...

Pineapple love:
How a note sent overseas in a juice crate led to a 30-year marriage Staff
Published Tuesday, March 31, 2015 8:12PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:20PM EDT 

Gordon MacDonald was stocking shelves at a grocery store in 1979 when he cracked opened a cardboard case. Inside, amongst the cans of pineapple juice, he found a note from a woman working in a Del Monte factory in the Philippines.

Three years later, MacDonald flew across the world to marry her.

Still happily married and now living in Fredericton, the juicy love affair began in an innocent fashion, MacDonald said.

Gordon MacDonald and Gilda Feliciano met through a letter carefully placed inside a box 

Gordon MacDonald and Gilda Feliciano today.

“I cut the case open… and I found this little piece of paper,” he said. “I opened it up and it had a note on it saying 'pen pal wanted,' and the date had been 11 months since the letter had been written.”

He decided to write the mysterious author back, just to let them know where their note ended up.

When Gilda Feliciano received the response to her letter nearly a year later, the next step, she said, was obvious.

“I put it in the garbage.”

Feliciano said she’d nearly forgotten about writing the message in the first place, but was eventually overcome with curiosity. She opened up her piece of Canadian mail and began what would develop into a two-and-a-half-year correspondence.

“I sent him a Christmas card just to tell him I got your note,” said Feliciano. The conversation began as casual talk about family and work, but soon picked up.

“And then the letters started to increase. Once a week, then it became every day,” MacDonald said.
Daily letters turned into phone call and audio tapes -- and finally a marriage proposal. The story made MacDonald a local celebrity.

“Before I knew it there were people coming into the store, lining up to meet me, greet me,” he said. “People I've never met before.”

Newspapers covered the affair the week MacDonald left to meet his future wife for the first time.
“MacDonald, 29, leaves for the Philippines this week to wed a woman he knows only from pictures, letters, tape recordings and a fateful encounter three years ago with a carton of juice cans,” reads a story from August 12, 1982.

The couple returned to Canada to begin a new chapter in their fairy tale. A year later, their daughter -- a “pineapple princess,” as they’d call her -- was born.

Now a music teacher in Calgary, Melissa Ashley still appreciates the unlikely story of how her parents met.

“I take a lot of pride in the story,” Ashley said. “Not many other people can say that their parents met in that unique way.”

With a report from CTV Atlantic

With our sincere, best wishes for your many more years together.

The Oddblock Station Agent

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