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New West couple getting COVID-19 vaccine on their 70th wedding anniversary

The New Westminster couple will both be in their 90s when they receive their vaccines at Douglas College

As far as wedding anniversary gifts go, receiving the COVID-19 vaccine to celebrate seven decades of marriage is a hard one to beat.

On Saturday, March 24, 1951, Gunter and Vera Masch got married in a small town in Germany. Five years later the couple moved from their home in Germany to Vancouver, they later moved to New Westminster and have lived there for the last 21 years. The couple had one daughter who now lives in Trail, a son who lives in Nelson and two grandchildren. It was their daughter who made their vaccine appointment on the couple’s wedding anniversary on Wednesday. 

As if that wasn’t enough to celebrate, just a day before their anniversary and vaccination appointment, Gunter will be celebrating his 90th birthday. Gunter says the vaccine serves as the best possible gift he could receive both for his birthday and the anniversary.

"I'm 90 and my wife is 91 already so what more can you expect out of life than a gift that prolongs your life?" Gunter asked.

A bit of give and take

As for the secret to both longevity of life and of marriage, Gunter says it takes a careful balance.

"You can take a little bit if you are able to give a little bit, that is in all aspects of life," Gunter said. "We planned our life right. We don't do dope, we don't drink, we don't smoke, we ate right. So I guess that helps to prolong our life."

The 90-year-old 'computer buff'

During the pandemic, Gunter and Vera didn’t get up to much aside from regular video calls with the children and grandchildren. In fact, Gunter describes himself as quite the “computer buff.” Having been using computers since the 1980s, when Gunter isn’t using green screens, creating movies or doing online banking, he’s sorting through some 25,000 travel photos he has collected over the years.

The couple has recently sold their condo near the corner of 6th Street and 6th Avenue, opting to move to the Kootenays to be closer to their children.