Local couple celebrates 50th anniversary

They say that everything happens for a reason and it seems that’s true when a fifth generation Port Elgin boy, Ernie Cluley, and a fourth generation girl, Sharon Kelso, meet in a garage, and 50 years later are cutting their anniversary cake.

Ernie, was born in the original Owen Sound Hospital while Sharon was born in what today is the Wismer House (circ. 1870) and was the ‘birthing house’ in Port Elgin.

In 1971, Sharon Kelso took her vehicle for repairs to the Elgin Grove Gulf Service Station that Ernie operated (co-incidence? perhaps) and, the rest as they, is history.

A year later, on May 24, 1972, the couple got engaged and five months later, on October 7, 1972, they were married at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Barrie (ON).


Then, in that same year, (1972), the couple purchased an acreage of land on Concession 4 in Saugeen Township, where they still live today.

Sharon Cluley graduated Toronto Teachers’ College and taught elementary school at Saugeen First Nation until the school closed in 1974.  “There simply weren’t enough students to keep the school open,” said Cluley, “and the few who were there ended up going to G. C. Huston Public School in Southampton.”

Ernie Cluley, living in Saugeen Township, served on its town council prior to amalgamation into Saugeen Shores.  Having sold his garage and, as a mechanic, he worked at Robertson’s Bus Lines in Port Elgin until it was sold and, in 1974, went to work for Ontario Hydro and retired from Ontario Power Generation (OPG) in 2001.

Also, an accomplished fiddler, Cluley often entertained at the couple’s getaway winter home in south Texas.

Although the couple’s three adult children no longer live nearby, Kevin (Toronto), Karen (Ottawa) and Thomas (Orangeville), they returned with the couple’s seven grandchildren to join their parents in celebration of their special day at the Chantry Centre in Southampton.

                          (L) Son Thomas, Sharon and Ernie Cluley, daughter Karen and son Kevin