A COUPLE are about to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in style.
Ronald and Jean Gunn, who have lived in Magdalene for the past 57 years, are having a party to celebrate the achievement at the Rockville Hotel, on Joppa Road, with close family and friends.
Ronald enlisted as a soldier with the Gordon Highlanders in 1953 and was 20 years old when he met an 18-year-old Jean at the Palais Dance Hall back in May 1954 while he was stationed at the Redford Barracks in Colinton.
Ronald’s chat-up line was: “Excuse me, is this your cigarette?” Neither of them smoked.
They got married at the Haymarket Registrar office on July 28, 1954, only two months after their meeting at the dance hall.
Whilst married, Jean stayed with her parents at Stenhouse because Ronald was sent to Cyprus just weeks after the wedding.
While with the army, Ronald went to Egypt on the HMS Diamond. During his service in Cyprus, Ronald paid his own fare back home to see Jean.
She didn’t know anything about it – but later described it as the best surprise ever.
Jean fell pregnant and had a daughter, Jackie, in September 1955 before giving up her job as a shorthand typist to become a full-time housewife.
Ronald left the army in 1957 and started work as a shunter for British Railways for the next 34 years.
Jean later gave birth to George and Rhona and began to work again in 1965, first in a biscuit factory and then as a cleaner at Edinburgh Castle for the Military Police.
Jean stopped working at the age of 52 due to ill health. When Ronald retired, he began to look after her and became her carer.
Youngest daughter Rhona said: “Ronald and Jean have had a long, loving, and caring marriage. They have done everything together and have always been in each others’ company, spending hardly any time apart.
“We have been brought up with unconditional love, taught to be respectful and encouraged to be confident and reach our goals.”
Their 60th wedding anniversary party will be attended by their daughters, Jackie and Rhona, their grandchildren, Kirsty, Vicky and Harry and their great-grandchildren, Josh, Charlie and Poppy.
Jean’s brother, John, and his wife, Dorcus, as well as other members of close family and friends will also be there.
Since they had no wedding celebration in 1954 and no honeymoon, the family are trying to make this lunchtime celebration as close to the reception they never had as possible.