Well-known local couple celebrate 65 happy years

65th Wed'John and Mary Swankie celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Friday.
65th Wed'John and Mary Swankie celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Friday.

AN ARBROATH couple celebrated their blue sapphire wedding anniversary at their home last week.

John (85) and Mary (85) Swankie have been married for 65 years, and were presented with a basket of flowers and a bottle of whisky on behalf of Provost Ruth Leslie Melville on Friday.

It was a classic tale of love at first sight, as John, a young lad of 17 set eyes on his wife-to-be across a crowded dancefloor at the Guide Hall in Arbroath.

It could have been a different story entirely as John said that at that time it was more common for youngsters to go the pictures.

The pair courted for three years before finally tying the knot at the now demolished Ladyloan Kirk and honeymooned for a week in Fraserburgh.

John grew up on John Street and was a fisherman all his days on the ‘Endeavour’ until heart trouble caused him to retire at the age of 50.

Meanwhile Mary grew up on the other side of town in Cairnie Street, and worked at the Savings Bank when she left school.

John was an active member of the RNLI and remembers being a member of the crew which attended the wreck of the FV ‘Lord Beaconsfield’ after the vessel ran aground one nautical mile south west of Red Head on October 17, 1945.

Councillor Bob Spink represented Provost Ruth Leslie Melville, who apologised that she could not attend because she was on holiday.

Lord Lieutenant Georgiana Osbourne, who also could not make it, sent a card apologising that she did not have any cards printed for a 65th anniversary and called the occasion a “very wonderful achievement”.

The couple have three sons, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

They described their house at Shore as a “busy, happy household”.

John, ever the character, replied to the question of what advice to give modern newlyweds with: “Do what your telt, and go where your took.”