Queen’s card adds extra sparkle to diamond day
Couple celebrate 60 years of marriage
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