A 60-year-old love story that starts with flowers on a train

A recent photograph of Chris and Anna Killian who celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary today, Thursday August 4.

Chris and Anna Killian celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary today, Thursday August 4.

The Noordhoek couple met in the spring of 1961. Chris was 23 and Anna – she was Anna Honiball then – was 20.

Anna, who lived in Cape Town, and some friends were travelling from Durban to Port Elizabeth by train on October 10, 1961, and Chris, who lived in Port Elizabeth, was on the same train with some of his friends.

According to the couple’s daughter, Anita Killian, her parents made regular eye contact with each other on the train, and when it stopped along the mountainside to refill with water, Chris snuck off to pick some Heide flowers for the young woman who had caught his eye.

Back on the train, Chris gave Anna the flowers, and the couple exchanged contact details.

After returning to Cape Town, Anna received a letter from Chris a mere five days after their first meeting, and a new friendship started to blossom.

In his letter, Chris wrote that he had told his mother he wanted to move to Cape Town as he had met the girl he was going to marry.

The following month, in November 1961, he made good on his plan to move to the Mother City, and a year later, on August 4 1962, the couple married.

Anita says that to this day, her dad still gives her mother flowers every day to show his love for her.

“The couple is blessed with three children, five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren,” she says.

Chris and Anna Killian on their wedding day.