Remembrance Day Love Story

In Remembrance: A Soldier’s Love

The bright red poppy on the lapel of a coat is a common sight across Canada every November. The poppy is worn to honour the men and women who have bravely fought to defend our country. November 11th is the day we take a moment to remember the sacrifices made by those who fought in war, as well as those who lost their lives.

During WWI and WWII the Canadian soldiers were usually very young when they were sent over to Europe, and it is hard to imagine how fearful they must have felt leaving their families and friends. One surprising aspect of these wars was the number of romances that blossomed during the time of such horrors, and there are many books and websites dedicated to wartime romances. My very close friend’s grandfather shared with her his story of love in WWII, and she has passed on his tale to share.

Escape From a War Zone

He was born Haroutoon Hatchadorian and he was born in Armenia in 1911. Tragically the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Empire began in 1915 in which 800,000 to 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives. Young Haroutoon’s father was killed and he, his older brother and his mother escaped Armenia into Greece. His mother was very ill and his older brother unable to care for him, so he was sent to live in an orphanage. The Canadian government and churches worked together to help the children of the war, and in 1923 the first 50 Armenian orphan boys were brought over to Canada. Haroutoon was chosen to go at the very last minute, when one of the other boys didn’t pass the medical exam. When he arrived in Canada his name was changed to the English name Harry Hatch. These boys were brought to Georgetown, Ontario and raised on farms to be farm hands.

The Beginning of WWII

In 1939 World War II broke out, and Harry enlisted like many young men in Canada. He was stationed at a barracks in Hamilton and began going to the local Armenian center to hang out. It was here that Harry first met Roxie Eloian. After hanging out with Roxie a few times he said he “really went for her in a big way. But I never mentioned any marriage or anything before I left overseas”. Harry was sent to England where he became a driver for the Army Generals. Not too many people knew how to drive or had a chauffeur’s license, but he had learned how to drive on the farm.

Love Letters Across the Sea

During this time he wrote love letters to Roxie back in Canada. Not just a couple of letters, but hundreds of them… enough to fill an entire suitcase. In these letters Harry told Roxie how he had fallen in love with her back in Canada and thought of her all the time. Unfortunately while Harry was driving around the generals he was also training for the raid at Dieppe France. The day came to depart to France and Harry was getting on the truck to go, when one of the generals pulled him off saying, “Hatch is too valuable a driver to us, he can’t go”. This act could have very likely saved his life, as the Dieppe raid was one of the most deadly operations for the Canadian soldiers, with a 68% casualty rate.

An Engagement Ring from England

Harry now knew he wanted to spend his life with Roxie and start a family. He wrote asking her to marry him, but didn’t receive a letter back. He wrote again, telling her “I know that it is hard for you to make up your mind, you don’t really know anything about me and I don’t really know anything about you – this is quite true… It is not that hard for you to say no and it is not that hard for you to say yes… but if you say no I am not coming back to Canada, I am going to stay in England”. After that letter he said “Geez I got a letter from her in no time soon and she said yes!” From England he sent her a ring-sizing card to get the correct ring size and then mailed her diamond engagement ring to Canada. She sent him back a photograph of her wearing his ring.

A Loving Marriage

In 1945 Harry was discharged from the army and came home to Canada. Harry and Roxie married 18 days after he arrived. They moved up into the mountain in Hamilton and had three daughters. Eventually they opened up a convenience store and billiards hall and worked side by side every day. They were married for 36 wonderful years before Harry passed away in 1982. Roxie lived for another 20 years and watched their grandchildren grow up.

It was an amazing life, and an amazing love story. How did Harry know Roxie was the one after spending such a short period of time with her? What was it about her that even after years of being away at war he couldn’t get her out of his mind? And was it just luck that Harry was able to escape both the Armenian genocide and the raid at Dieppe? These are mysteries of life and love that we will never know the answer to, and I think that is what makes this story so very special.

Social Media Engagement Announcements

Engagement Announcements and Social Media

Your big moment has happened! It was a perfect proposal, with the most beautiful ring and now you can’t wipe that smile off of your face. You can’t wait to share your big news with the world! And the best place to share big news is social media of course! Whether you choose Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or all of the above, you want to post your news in the most positive light possible. By following certain rules of etiquette you can ensure that your post will be celebrated and earn you many ‘likes’.

The VIP List

Before you reveal your big announcement to the world, it’s important that you personally tell the news to the VIPs in your life. We are talking about parents, grandparents, siblings and close friends. You can tell them in person or on a phone call, but please don’t have your grandma find out you are engaged at the same time your old classmate from middle school does.

Ring Selfie – Do or Don’t?

Is it ok to post a photo of your ring? Absolutely! People really want to see what the ring looks like and you should be proud to show off such a beautiful piece of jewellery. However don’t forget the engagement is more than just a ring, it is about two people making a commitment to spend a lifetime together. A photograph of the two of you together while you show the ring, or a portrait of the two of you as a couple and a second photo of a close up of the ring are both great ideas. And if you are going to post an engagement ring selfie, remember the best photos have beautifully manicured fingers over a picturesque background.

Sentiment, Not Size

Your ring is supposed to represent a lasting love, not how much money was spent. It is never ok to share the cost of the ring or the carat size of the diamond on social media. That information should be kept to yourself. If someone comments on your ring asking questions about cost or carat, just give a sweet but vague reply such as “it’s priceless” or “it’s the perfect size for me”.

Don’t Steal my Thunder

Think about how disappointed you would be if someone went ahead and announced your engagement before you had a chance to. With that in mind never share someone else’s big news on social media. You may be excited for them but it is their special moment and when and how they choose to announce it is up to them.

Ready or Not

Don’t post your announcement until you are ready for the whole world to know. Although you may only communicate with a handful of people through your social media accounts, when you post a BIG announcement a lot of people will like and comment on it. Social media is huge these days and you will be surprised who comes out of the wood work to offer their congratulations.

The Most Important Rule

Enjoy it! It’s a special time in your life and people are genuinely happy for you. Before you start stressing with wedding planning sit back and enjoy the moment. There are only a handful of moments so special in a person’s life so cherish the happiness of being in love.

wedding details collage

Marriage: The Art of Wedding Planning

You’ve said ‘I do’ and you both can’t wait to get married and start planning for your big day.

Now what is it that you actually need to do?

Decisions, decisions!

When it comes to planning a wedding, the process can seem overwhelming at best. There is the guest list to agree upon (‘do we invite your Aunt Norma who is twice removed?’); the floral arrangements (that moment when you realize that your dream flowers will take away from at least ten percent of your wedding budget); the caterer…

Should I go on?

Taking a deep breath and tackling your wedding to-do list, starting with your top priority, is a great way to begin the wedding planning process.

Book It

From the venue to the photographer, the best thing you can do to keep calm and carry on is to book ahead. Remember, most companies and venues are booking a year or two in advance as it is.

Find A Place for Everything

One of the most valuable pieces (besides your wedding ring) of advice we can offer you when planning for your wedding is how important it is to be organized. You will be dealing with florists and caterers and photographers, oh my! And each contact needs it’s own place.

There are some valuable online resources to keep you organized and on track, and they are definitely worth trying on for size, such as: TheKnot; WeddingWire; and Pinterest, to name a few.

There are also a variety of wedding planning books available in many different stores.

In order to stay organized and on top of things, a few things need their own space, such as:

  • Receipts of transactions
  • A record of telephone conversations
  • E-mails from important contacts, such as the florist, DJ, etc.

Best Practices

I asked some of my best friends what their best pieces of wedding planning advice is, and here is what they had to say:

Time Is Precious

“I would say first and foremost, you never have as much time as you think you do. Do not leave things until the last minute. Make a plan. Choose a theme/style and make lists of things so you don’t forget or get confused with information and/or options overload.”

Say Yes To The Dress (sooner rather than later)

“Choosing your dress is very important and something that shouldn’t be left until the last minute. Do that along with booking a venue and caterer early. Don’t leave anything you have to book in advance until it’s too late.”

Get By With A Little Help From Your Friends

“Ask for help and don’t be afraid to delegate. Include your bridesmaids/groomsmen/friends and family, and allow them to be as involved as you need them to be while you are planning for your big day. From setting up tables and chairs (if necessary), to making decorations and wedding favours, they are there to support you, and will ideally want to be as involved as they can.”

There Ain’t No Mountain High Enough

“Make sure the wedding day, and all of the events leading up to it, are about you and your partner. Period. From the moment your partner proposes, try to enjoy all of these special once in a lifetime experiences.”

Advice for the Grooms

As a prospective groom, there are some things that you may choose to take care of on your own, as well as some things that will require you to work with your partner, your family and your friends, among other people involved in your big day. There may be individual tasks such as picking a best man and groomsmen; while other tasks might have you and your partner working side by side, for example, when you are choosing your venue, your honeymoon location, the caterers, and perhaps, a photographer, to name just a few.

Two Heads Are Always Better Than One

What better occasion to work together as a team, then planning for your own wedding. Leaving tasks such the flowers, wedding favours, and decorations for your partner is nothing to be ashamed of. Chances are, one of you will enjoy those tasks more than the other. The same goes for budgeting, seating plans and dealing with vendors, for example. Acknowledge each other’s strengths and interests, and work with that knowledge in order to designate preferred wedding planning tasks. This will ensure a more enjoyable experience for the both of you as you’re tackling what seems to be a never ending list.

I asked a few of my male friends, who have been recently married, what their best piece of wedding planning advice was. Here is what they had to say:

Divide and Conquer

“When it came to our wedding ’to-do’ list, my fiance and I thought it would be best if we worked together on it, each choosing to take on different tasks based on our strengths and interests. For example, my fiance loved sorting out the hundred and one details when it came to the colour scheme and flower arrangements, which I couldn’t be bothered by; while I created a budget and kept records of receipts, etc. organized and on file.”

What’s Your Forte?

“My fiance didn’t pressure me to take on responsibilities that she knew I wouldn’t be interested in. Instead she asked me what I might like to do to help, and the odd time she would ask me for specific advice or help. I was more than willing to help out and make it easier on her when it came to planning.”

Be There for Each Other

“Two days before our wedding, we were arguing over some final details. We were both tired and over worked. I sat my fiance down and took the time to talk about the fact that we were in this together and on the same team, as opposed to being on opposite ends of the field, which is how she described herself as feeling for the weeks leading up to the wedding. It was important to take that time with each other.”

Put A Kimberfire Ring On It

For any and all of your wedding jewelry needs, do not hesitate to contact us at Kimberfire, no matter where you are in the process, no matter how close or how far you are from the wedding.

Share Your Wedding Planning Advice

We encourage our readers to leave a comment below. Please let us know what some of your best wedding planning practices are!

Kimberfire Marriage Proposal

Marriage: Art of the Proposal

Whether you’re at the early stages in your relationship or considering getting down on one knee in the near future – of all the important questions that you will ask in your lifetime, “will you marry me?” takes the cake!

Below are a few tips for you to consider before popping the question.

Build up to the moment.

Memories are one of the most valuable things in life, especially as time goes by. In order to make lasting, happy memories, and, to prevent confusion and/or panic, plan a proposal that builds to the moment. Lay out the specific times and elements of your proposal. Instead of asking sometime during a meal, plan the proposal as you would a presentation at work, and appropriately build on the momentum as you approach those four special words.

This is where YOUR story begins.

Nobody wants to miss out on hearing about the proposal, and it is generally one of the first questions out of people’s mouths.

Including personal touches to your proposal will add a unique element that demonstrates your efforts and thoughtfulness to your partner. Make it personal. Make it about who the two of you are as a couple. Start this new chapter of your life, and set the stage for the future, in the way that a skilled author introduces their story. While other people can read it, only the author can create it.

This way, when people ask your partner, “how did he/she propose?” it will be like reciting a page out of your own love story in the making.

Practice makes perfect.

Picture those Hollywood movies, where the leading man sweeps the leading lady off of her feet at the last possible second, with a romantic gesture, complete with a seven minute long, unprepared, epic speech about how he can’t live without her, which she then proceeds to fall in to his arms in fits of sobs. Most of us do not work as well under pressure. In the real world, without preparation, those of you proposing may be at a loss for words during such a significant moment.

If you think you need to, write or jot down what you plan to say, and then rehearse it. Preparation will come across in a big way and will have your partner saying, ‘I Do,’ before the seven minutes of your epic speech are even up!

Still lost for words?

I don’t think there is one, perfect proposal ‘script,’ that includes everything that someone should say. Each couple is unique. Instead, let what you want to express come from your heart and be representative of the stage in your relationship that you are experiencing together. A proposal is an expression of the love you feel for one another that highlights a moment in time.

On the other hand, why not ditch the script altogether with something short and sweet?

Choose the setting carefully.

And we don’t mean for the ring … yet!

The setting is the location where you envision the proposal will occur. Whether it is at the spot where you first met or had your first kiss, it should hold some significance for the both of you.

To be or not to be traditional?

The act of bending one knee to the ground is known as genuflection. Proposing on one knee symbolizes a high level of vulnerability, respect and graciousness.

Before you choose to opt out of what you consider too traditional, consider the meaning and significance behind this seemingly small, but in reality, grand, gesture. Also consider what it may mean to your significant other. If you know that your future partner-to-be is fond of engagement and marriage traditions, then consider incorporating some traditional elements while still making it personal.

It’s all about finding the balance between traditional and personal touches.

It don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that ring!

The tradition behind bending down on one knee to propose is of course, not without the right diamond engagement ring.

Still searching for the perfect ring to suit the love of your life? Keep calm and call Kimberfire! We’re here to help with this very important part of your proposal. We’ll even help you with the rest of the day’s planning if you need an outside opinion… we’ve been around many engagements!

How important is the art of proposal to you?

I went straight to the source: some of my best friends who have recently gotten engaged, and some of who are recently married. Below is what they had to say in response to my question: “how important is the art of the proposal to you?”

“I think that the whole idea of the proposal is very focused upon the idea of a grand gesture. I think that every person has their preference about how they ideally would like to be proposed to, or at least some ideas surrounding it. I think that a well thought out proposal is important, however it should be based on who you are as a couple. It is a very intimate moment between two people and, and it is a moment you hope to never forget.”

“I think that the art of the proposal is very important because it marks a pivotal moment in time. I would rate a well thought out proposal highly. It isn’t about going over the top and appearing on a Jumbotron in front of millions of people, but rather a true and valiant effort demonstrated to express fondness, admiration and love.”

“I don’t think that a well thought out proposal needs to be costly. It’s about celebrating the moment in time and making sure the person feels special.”

So… how important is the art of the proposal to you?


Photo credit: Assaf Friedman Photography

couple in love

Marriage: The Art of Knowing

“Marriage is not about finding a person you can live with, it’s about finding the person you can’t live without.” – S.J.D. Peterson

Is your partner “the one”?

While there are exceptions to every rule, here are some signs that your partner is the one for you.

Your partner gets along well with your family and friends.

When the people who know you best are in complete support of your relationship, they will let you know. Remember, your family helped to shape who you are, and has seen you at your best and your worst; equally as important, you chose your friends based on common beliefs, interests and values.

And, on that note . . .

Your partner is your best friend.

Physical attraction and chemistry are crucial to any relationship. At the core of the relationship, however, there should be a strong and deeply rooted friendship. If you feel like your partner is your best friend in the world, there is a very good chance that they are the one for you.

While it is not solely up to your partner (or anyone else) to make you happy, someone who is aware and insightful enough to know how to lift your spirits is someone who understands you and pays attention. It is comforting to know that you are with someone who picks up on when you might need a boost, and knows just how to make you smile.

“I knew he was the one for me when he made me laugh the hardest I had ever laughed in my life. He then told me that every day for the rest of our lives he would try to put a smile on my face. It was in that moment that I knew.” – Ashley, 28

“It’s just a feeling.”

Your partner in crime is someone who will stand by you when life doesn’t go as planned. They make you feel loved and respected, while admiring and supporting the person you are and continuing to support the person you will become.

“You’re completely at ease to be yourself with them; completely happy with them; and think about them constantly when they’re not with you.” – Amanda, 28

Your partner is “wonderful” just the way they are.

You respect and admire your partner, because in your eyes, they truly are wonderful. This is someone who wants to, and would, do anything for you. You can trust them with your feelings, your secrets, and to support you, your goals and your desires. Your partner should be one of your biggest supporters. A critical component to achieving a healthy relationship is to be with someone who respects you just the way you are. And, as Billy Joel once wrote, ‘don’t go changing to try and please me.’

You want, and you see, a future with your partner.

Your vision for the future includes your partner, and you want to share a life with them.

By asking yourself what you need to feel fulfilled in a long-term relationship, and focusing on your ideal vision of a long lasting relationship leading to marriage and beyond, you will have a better understanding of what you are looking for in a partner.

Surrounding yourself with couples that are in healthy relationships can have a positive influence on your own relationship. They can help you discover and become more aware of what you want your relationship to look like and feel like.

Ultimately… Only you know.

This checklist isn’t perfect, and the same goes for relationships and people. There are certain qualities that are important in a partner, and there are also a lot of other qualities and traits that are necessary for a solid, lasting relationship. It is up to you to decide what those fundamental qualities are for you.

Congratulations! You believe you have found the one and are ready to propose, now what?

Coming up next in this series… The Art of Proposal!


Photo Credit: Jennifer van Son Photography