High School Sweethearts Reunite after 70 Years

The new year brings newfound love for Newfoundland high school sweethearts Frederick Paul and Florence Harvey. In a remarkable series of events, Frederick and Florence somehow reconnected during this past tumultuous year, a full 70 years following their halcyon days of teenage romance. 

The two dated in high school in the 50s in Newfoundland, a populous island with almost half a million residents at the easternmost part of Canada. According to the Toronto Star, Frederick would flicker his porch light back in those days, as a way of saying goodnight to Florence where she lived across the bay. The two eventually married others, made their families, and went on to live entirely separate lives.

Now in their 80s, both had, by now, lost their spouses to health issues in recent years. Frederick lost his wife Helen in 2019, and Florence decided to reach out to him by phone and extend her support and condolences. Yes, she even reached out to him on Valentine’s Day, a poignant storybook detail. By that point, it had been decades since either had spoken to the other.

Frederick and Florence continued to speak on the phone as the pandemic continued and expanded across Canada. At some point, they discussed a visit, since Florence had sons around Ontario, where Frederick had made his home. As it turned out, Florence decided to fly over for a surprise visit on Frederick’s birthday, coordinated by his daughter Cathy.

We loved with a love that was more than love. - Edgar Allan Poe

Three days later and the two were discussing marriage, which was officiated by the minister of Paul’s family’s church, Paul Ivany. The minister commented on the incredible union in August: “I have conducted more than 500 wedding ceremonies, but this ceremony without question is one of the most special that I have ever been a part of.”

The newlyweds celebrated their first Christmas together this year in Ontario, and here’s to many, many more.

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