Queen’s card adds extra sparkle to di­a­mond day

Cou­ple cel­e­brate 60 years of mar­riage

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Niki Ten­nant

The sparkle re­turned to a Ruther­glen cou­ple’s di­a­mond wed­ding cel­e­bra­tions when a longed-for card from Her Majesty the Queen dropped through their let­ter­box.

Great grand­par­ents Jean, 79, and 80-year-old Wil­liam Gibb cel­e­brated 60 years to­gether on Oc­to­ber 31 at a party in Cam­bus­lang Bowl­ing Club, sur­rounded by more than 50 rel­a­tives and friends. But some­thing was miss­ing. The cou­ple hadn’t re­ceived the con­grat­u­la­tory mes­sage they had hoped for from Her Majesty.

“Peo­ple kept ask­ing me if I had got the tele­gram from the Queen,” said Jean, of Glen­daruel Road, Cathkin.

“I thought it just came au­to­mat­i­cally. I didn’t re­alise you had to ap­ply for it.”

When she saw a pic­ture in the Re­former of an­other Ruther­glen di­a­mond wed­ding cou­ple clutch­ing their card from the Queen, a puz­zled Jean called our news­desk to see if we knew why she and Wil­liam had missed out.

We printed a form from Buck­ing­ham Palace and posted it off to the cou­ple, along with in­for­ma­tion about how to ap­ply.

The cou­ple’s el­der son, Alex, com­pleted the form and re­turned it by recorded delivery, along with a copy of their mar­riage cer­tifi­cate from 1958.

Just four days later, the card con­tain­ing the Queen’s warm wishes ar­rived at the cou­ple’s home.

“I couldn’t be­lieve it ar­rived so quickly,” said a de­lighted Jean, who is a big fan of the Roy­als and plans to frame the card and give it pride of place in her liv­ing room.

Back in the 50s, a young Jean and Wil­liam were in­tro­duced by one of her cousins and their friend­ship soon blos­somed into ro­mance.

When Wil­liam was posted to Alder­shot and Bland­ford with the Army, the sweet­hearts faith­fully wrote to each other.

“My mother liked him,” re­mem­bers Jean.

“She used to keep cig­a­rettes aside for him com­ing home on leave.”

When Wil­liam re­turned to the Royal Burgh after two years’ ser­vice, he asked Jean’s mum, Grace McGeachie, for her hand in mar­riage.

The cou­ple wed at New­ton Par­ish Church with Jean’s sis­ter Grace as brides­maid and her then boyfriend, Harold McMillan, as best man.

“My mum didn’t have a lot of money,” ex­plained Jean, who has five grand­chil­dren and a great grand­daugh­ter, Lia, six.

“Our re­cep­tion was held in her house in Wood­lands Cres­cent, Half­way, and the Co-op came in and did a buf­fet.”

Ex­press­ing her de­light at re­ceiv­ing the card that was the ic­ing on the cake of the cel­e­bra­tions, Jean said: “For all the years the Queen has had, she is still a lovely lady.”

Prized pos­ses­sion Wil­liam and Jean Gibb with their card from The Queen

Big day The cou­ple tied the knot in 1958

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