Love knows no barrier, whether be it age, race, colour or creed, if it’s meant to be it will be.
After two years of courting, 62-year-old Bruce Mckenzie and 56-year-old Jacquie Ellis will soon seal the bond of two souls saying I do in agreement to love as one soul until death.
And what better way and place for the couple to express their affection then in beautiful Samoa.
Dear Tourist met the couple from Karangahake, New Zealand, at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel yesterday waiting to bid our shores goodbye.
Samoa was just an escape from the busy work life and a perfect relaxation destination for Jacquie, but for Bruce, it was the perfect time and atmosphere to pop the question.
“Jacquie made the decision that she wanted to come here, so I said OK we will go,” Bruce said.
“I did not know about the marriage proposal,” Jacquie added.
“I don’t know did you?” Jacquie asked Bruce if he had planned it all along.
“Well it was on the back of my mind, this is a good place to do it, while you’re on a holiday and you’re relaxing so I thought it was the good time,” Bruce said.
“It came as a surprise to me,” Jacquie said.
“It was a daytime proposal at Paradise Resort and I was excited,” she added with a smile. The end result of this trip is that we will be getting married,” Bruce added nodding.
Not only is Samoa a perfect place to relax, for Jacquie it was a special place that she had dearly missed 38 years ago.
“I was here 38 years ago when I was 19 years old. I spent three weeks here. I had to save up really hard in my first job so I could get here. And when I went back I told myself that I have to come back,” she said.
“My aunt and uncle worked here at the Bank of New Zealand which I believe don’t exist anymore. So they were here and I came here and fell in love with the place.
“Somethings were better than I thought and somethings were quite the same, but the people, when I actually left, I was literally crying on the plane back home.”
Jacquie’s beauty in the eyes of Bruce, being a first time traveler to Samoa, is how he views our island.
“The beaches are beautiful, there’s a lot of green and it’s really beautiful,” he said.
“It’s been an amazing experience. I have travelled to a few parts of the world, but I love this country, love the weather, it’s nice and hot.
“Everybody here is so friendly and so helpful. Even downtown, everybody smiles and it is a genuine friendly atmosphere, it’s really nice.”
When comparing Samoa to the past 38 years, Jacquie says: “Tanoa Tusitala today is miles better than what I remember it being. It was lot less developed in those days. Today it’s just beautiful, there are a lot of flowers and there’s green everywhere and way better.”
And being an artist herself, she sure knows what beauty is when she describes Samoa’s scenery.
“Our idea of a holiday is this. When you go to a country, you want to be able to experience the culture and the life in that country,” Bruce said.
“The food is fresh, gorgeous food; local food is just so good,” Jacquie said.
“We have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It’s like when you come here, it’s a different universe. It’s just so relaxing and wonderful to be here.”
The couple arrived last week Thursday and apart from an amazing holiday filled with love and laughter, the couple has one thing to say.
“We think Samoa has the potential to develop its tourism industry, like having road signs. The other day we were lucky to reach our destination after a local directed us.
At times we would be lucky to make it even if we get lost while driving.”
Nonetheless, Samoa has definitely captivated the hearts of two souls and they have already made plans to return next year.
“But it’s a perfect place, it is very low key, and it’s enjoyable, there’s no hustle,” Bruce said.
All good things must come to an end, especially for a tropical getaway.
“As soon as we get back and it’s work the next day. I have three arts classes tomorrow (today) and Bruce also has to go to work.
“So we will save up again and visit Samoa next year.”
But before they return, pop the champagne because come 2018, Jacquie is changing her last name.