While hitting 80 is a significant milestone in itself, Bob Peterson had double the reason to celebrate last month – he marked the birthday with his twin sister, Glady.
The siblings celebrated at an Ocean Park restaurant with their spouses Feb. 28.
“We got together and just talked and reminisced,” Bob, a North Vancouver resident, said.
“It was very pleasant.”
Despite sharing the same roots, Bob said the two are very different people.
Bob is six feet and Glady, who lives in South Surrey, is five-foot-two.
And they chose different paths to tread, following a childhood in rural Winnipeg during the Depression.
“Although we’re twins, we have a very different situation in life now, but as children we were inseparable,” he said.
“She was always sticking me with trouble as kids, she was always doing little dirty tricks and blaming me.”
While Glady graduated high school, Bob – a skillful drawer – dropped out after Grade 10 to take up a job with Eatons’ advertising department.
He continued in the field, going on to work in Vancouver and Saskatchewan, before returning to Winnipeg, where he met and married his first wife in 1957.
His daughter was born three years later.
Glady married at a younger age – she was 18 when she exchanged vows with her first husband – and had three children, two of whom she adopted.
The twins both moved to B.C. in the early ’60s, and became close again following a period of time when they saw each other just once a year.
“We had a lot of connections in… those years where her children and my daughter, we all connected and did a lot of things together.”
Bob followed a career in advertising and publishing before retiring in 1994, and now lives with his wife, Jan, who he has been married to for 33 years.
Glady settled in White Rock, and has remained on the Peninsula ever since.
She was well known around the Surrey school board, where she worked as a receptionist before taking retirement.
Bob said Glady and her husband, Bruce, are a “dancing couple” who enjoy travelling on cruises and attending local dances.
“They’re dancing their way around ships, and dancing their way around White Rock and Surrey two or three times a week.”
The twins – who drifted apart in the midst of raising children and working – regularly keep in touch.
“We’ve now regained a connection via computer.”
Bob said his sister “was always very generous to me, very supportive,” and he plans to celebrate with her again during an August family get-together, three months before Jan joins the ranks as an octogenarian.
“We will all have an enormous, big 80th birthday for all the family.”