59 years of love

One of our residents from The Homestead, Anne, and her husband, Rodney celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary this week!

Rodney was kind enough to share the following story about how he and Anne met.

I was at boarding school until the age of 18.  The boarding school I attended, The Royal Masonic School for Boys, was in Bushey, north of London.  When I went home on school holidays to Portsmouth, I attended the Trinity Church youth group as a way of getting to know people, as most of my old friends prior to my boarding school days had made other friends.  Ann was also attending the same church and was part of the choir with two of her best friends.

In 1959 when I finally left boarding school, I returned home and took up an apprenticeship.  In the evenings I would often seek out the church group for company.  One evening during table tennis, a friend of mine told me that he had been going out with a girl called Ann, but had broken it off because he had found someone else he liked better.  He said Ann was a lovely girl, and suggested I give her a call.  So I rang her, and we agreed to meet outside the Fire Station in the High Street on a Thursday night, and then go to the pictures, as one did in those days.  She agreed.

My only transport then (1959) was a bicycle.  On the particular night in question I cycled in the rain down to the Fire Station and waited for her to arrive.  I waited for some time, and was just about to leave, thinking that she had stood me up. When she arrived I took her to the pictures, wet and annoyed.  She later told me that she didn’t expect me to turn up, which was the reason she had been late!

She was a gorgeous girl and we both enjoyed one another’s company, so started going out together.  In 1960 we decided to get married, which we did on the 2nd April 1960.  I insisted it NOT be the 1st April, April Fools Day.  We flew to the Channel Islands off the coast of France for our honeymoon.  I was then sent to Admiralty HQ in Trafalgar Square, London.  In 1963 after an extremely cold winter of -18°C temperatures for days on end, I suggested we go somewhere warm, and went to Australia House just around the corner.  A couple of weeks later I had to hand in my notice, as our tickets had arrived, and as ten pound Poms, we flew to Australia on one of the first Boeing 707 flights.

Anne and Rodney have two sons together, and through their adult lives remained very physically active and adventurous, at one point travelling to 18 countries in three months! They have always remained committee members of Little Athletics, soccer and tennis clubs.

From all of us at Japara, we wish you a very happy anniversary, Anne and Rodney! Here’s to many more to come.

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