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Diamond couple put family first

PUBLISHED: 17:48 26 August 2009 | UPDATED: 10:17 12 August 2010

A HAPPY couple will be celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary with their best man and bridesmaid from 60 years ago. Geoff Hunt, 89, and wife Betty, 83, of Langford Place, Sidcup, will be celebrating their landmark anniversary today after their cou

A HAPPY couple will be celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary with their best man and bridesmaid from 60 years ago.

Geoff Hunt, 89, and wife Betty, 83, of Langford Place, Sidcup, will be celebrating their landmark anniversary today after their courtship began on a holiday in Weymouth.

And at their celebration meal at Frogpool Manor Restaurant in Chislehurst this Saturday, will be the bride's sister Joan Housely, from Petts Wood, who was their bridesmaid, and Ralph Hunt, from Salisbury - the groom's brother who was also the best man at the wedding in 1949.

Their wedding vows were exchanged in St Andrew's Church, in Court Road, Mottingham, where the groom's parents married in 1902.

His parents, who also reached their diamond anniversary, claimed to have never said a cross word to each other.

Mr Hunt said: "They used to say they never said a cross word to each other and I think that can be said of us too.

"The secret to a happy marriage is tolerance, patience, hard work and respect.

"Possibly respect is the first. When we first met, my wife was reserved as she had a very closed life. We didn't have a lot time to play because we always worked."

Mrs Hunt, the eldest of three siblings, helped look after her family from the age of 17 when her father, who was an air raid warden in Mottingham Road, Mottingham, died when a German V-1 flying bomb fell on the shelter in 1944.

The same bomb also damaged their home, forcing the family to temporarily re-locate to their grandmothers' house in Grove Park.

Mrs Hunt, a former civil servant, said: "Women did not have careers in those days. You just took whatever job was available.

"I was looking for friendship to start with. It is difficult to remember everything as it was so long ago.

"The secret to a long marriage is patience, perseverance. It is hard work. It is nothing brilliant."

The great grandparents are again following in the footsteps of Mr Hunt's parents, who also had their diamond anniversary featured in the Kentish Times, on March 30, 1962.

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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