Local pair notch up 60 years together

Gwen and Ted Aitken celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last week.

TED and Gwen Aitken were hoping they would celebrate a significant milestone quietly last week.

The couple celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary for 60 years of marriage on Thursday, August 14 but wanted to keep their celebrations under wraps.

They spent the evening with their three children, grandchildren and great grand children.

“The kids wanted to do something for it but we didn’t want to go out so we just had pizzas and garlic bread here and we got the cards out,” Gwen said.

“It was lovely.”

The pair have been inseparable since they first met in Heywood in 1955 when Gwen was 17 and Ted was 18, beginning a two year courtship which was followed by their engagement at 19 and 20 and then marriage in 1959 at 21 and 22.

“Ted used to come around and see my brothers and I was the only daughter,” Gwen said.

“We went together for 18 months then we got engaged and then two years after we got married.

“But I always told him he never came to see my brothers, he always came to see me.”

Following their wedding day, the pair built a life in Heywood over the next decade, with Ted working at the cheese factory and building a house for the pair to start their family.

Three children – Pauline, Sharon and Brad – followed before they made the decision to uproot their lives to call Camperdown home.

“In 1969, Ted got a phone call from Alan Skene asking if he wanted to come and work at the Camperdown factory because Heywood was closing,” Gwen said.

“I cried to myself the whole way down because I didn’t know a soul but anyway we’ll have been here 50 years at Christmas time.”

Gwen said the pair had enjoyed a “lovely life together”, adding they were both thrilled to spend 60 years married, revealing it was a special milestone for both of their families.

“We think it’s wonderful,” she said.

“We feel very privileged because no one in our family has done it.

“We’re the first in both of our families to make it to 60 years.”

Ted said their loyalty and honesty to each other was what made their bond extremely strong.

He added although they had their disagreements over the years, they rarely argued and shared a similar mindset when it came to money.

“I think we’ve got through with our honesty and without arguing about money,” Ted said.

“We’ve always shared our money, that’s been the main thing.”

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