Real Lives: Yet another royal seal of approval for diamond duo

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JOHN and Myma Sutherland have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary – with a telegram from the Queen.

The couple joked that hearing from the Queen was getting to be a bit of a habit, since she sent a card to congratulate them on their recent 65th wedding anniversary to be kept along with the one she sent for their golden.

Lifelong residents of Edinburgh, they met a dancehall in Craigmillar owned by Myma’s father, where John was a member of the band and, according to his family, a very energetic and enthusiastic dancer.

He was also a rebel, refusing to wear black socks on the bandstand, for which he would be sacked – by his future father-in-law.

After a short courtship, the couple married on November 27, 1946, at the registry office in Abbeyhill.

They started their marriage living with Myma’s parents in Portobello, an area John got to know rather well during their courtship because he often walked home to his house near Easter Road after escorting her home late at night.

They lived most of their lives in The Inch, on the south side of Edinburgh, but moved a few years ago to a sheltered complex near Nicolson Street.

John, now 86, was a welder by trade and spent many years in Rob’s Shipyard in Leith and the Wire Works in Granton.

Much of his free time was taken up as a double bassist on the Edinburgh semi-pro music scene, working in hotels such as the North British – now the Balmoral – and he could often be seen during the Festival on the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens.

Myma, now 84, started work at 14 in Patrick Thompson’s on the bridges. She trained as a tailoress, earning 7/6p a week, and fondly remembers being able to catch a train home to Portobello for lunch and getting back within an hour.

After a period as an account rep for Goldbergs department store at Tollcross, she ended a long working life in the civil service at Chesser.

On Sunday they took a table for ten at a local Italian restaurant and were joined for a celebration lunch by their children Maureen and Paul and their four grandchildren – Sophie, Eliot, Florence and Guy.

Son Paul said: “Congratulations to them for a great achievement and here’s looking forward to the 70th and another of those royal telegrams.”