GEORGE Harvie, a former teacher from Edinburgh, has celebrated his platinum wedding anniversary with Isobel, his wife of 70 years.
George, 94, and Isobel, 95, married on November 2, 1942, in Motherwell, where the two grew up and met.
Isobel was born on October 5, 1917, and George on March 1, 1918, and both attended Dalziel High School. The pair also went to Glasgow University together, where George studied English and history, and Isobel French and German.
The couple were soon split up by the Second World War however, as George served first in the army with the Highland Light Infantry, and then volunteered to join the RAF, as a photo reconnaissance pilot, flying Spitfires.
Their son Christopher said: “He was always being trained for something, and happily, he never heard a shot fired in anger.”
George and Isobel’s first two children, Christopher (born 1944) and Jane (born 1946), grew up in a prefab house for returning servicemen in Motherwell, where George was teaching.
In 1949, the ex-soldier became head teacher at St Boswells Primary School, and the young family moved into the schoolhouse, where the couple’s third child, Stephen, was born in 1950.
In 1950 he founded the St Boswells Drama Club, which is still going strong.
“They have had interesting careers, with continuing Border connections,” Christopher said, “but they’ve always liked challenges and Dad wanted to move into secondary education.”
In 1958, George started teaching English at Trinity Academy in Edinburgh, and from the mid-1960s on the family rented Sundial Cottage in Redpath.
“He was a very good teacher: he even managed to teach subjects he couldn’t understand at all,” explains Christopher.
George rose to become Head of Humanities at the Edinburgh College of Commerce, which is now part of the city’s Napier University. After bringing up the family, Isobel also taught French and English there part-time.
When George took early retirement in 1979, the couple moved from Redpath to Melrose.
In retirement, George enjoyed singing baritone for the Eildon Singers well into his eighties,and playing piano, while Isobel, a keen quilter and writer, penned a series of four books telling her “patchwork” of family stories.
George and Isobel’s carer, Wilma Hewitt from Melrose, paid tribute to the couple, saying: “There’s not many people that get to 70 years of marriage. It’s kind of special. George said to me yesterday, ‘I love Isobel the same now as I did when I married her’.”
“Age has caught up with dad’s hearing and mum’s memory,” Christopher concluded, “but thanks to their carer Wilma, they still enjoy their food and television, and Jane and Steve tour them round the land they love and see every day from the great window.
“They couldn’t have been better parents to us.”