More than six decades after they first met at work, Ronnie and Ella Gilfillan have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary with family and friends in Edinburgh.
They were employed by Scottish Gas at the main office in Waterloo Place – now a popular restaurant – when the flames of romance began to flicker.
The relationship blossomed with regular trips to the Capital’s many cinemas of the time and outings to their favourite dance halls, the Cavendish and the Palais.
The couple were married in the Canongate Kirk in July 1957 and settled into life in Waverley Park in the Abbeyhill area, close to family and Ella’s mother Bell, who lived in the next stair.
Their daughters Linda and Lorna were born in the former Elsie Inglis Maternity Hospital and a few years later the family moved to Piersfield Place. In 1975, they moved to Paisley Terrace in the Willowbrae area, their home for 42 years until a later move to Clifton Mews in the Baileyfield area.
In their married life, Ella and Ronnie have been dedicated members at St Paul’s Church in Lorne Street Leith and then Pilrig St Paul’s, serving as office bearers and supporting the work of the church and outreach to the local community.
Now 84, Ronnie held the role of the Boys’ Brigade Captain for the 4th Leith Company for 14 years, as well as being session clerk, finance officer and clerk to the board. He often took the lead on fundraising activities, including the famous jumble sales held in the Lorne Street halls, where queues started an hour before the doors opened.
Also a stalwart of the community, Ella, 83, recently received a certificate to congratulate her on 60 years as a member of the Guild.
In recent years, the couple have settled into life at a retirement development where they have made many new friends and are now neighbours to Moira, one of their longest friendships. They are very happy there and enjoy an amazing social life – as was evident from the large number of well-wishers who joined them in celebrating 60 years of happy marriage.
“Family and friends mean a lot to them and they were keen to hold a party with everyone to mark their anniversary. It was a weekend of parties and celebration with a great time had by all,” said daughter Linda.
Asked about their secret to a long and happy marriage, Ella told her family that Ronnie had never really been one to argue.
“Now that either means that Ella is always right or Ronnie has decided what the best tactic on this one would be!” added Linda.