I first met James’ grandparents when I was 17… I still remember Papa saying ‘hello dear’ and winking at James, ‘you’ve got a looker!’ I could feel the blush creeping up my neck and I wondered if he was always like this with the ladies. Apparently so, for 60 years on, he still gives Nana a cheeky glint in her eye.

Last night we came together to celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary: 60 amazing years of marriage. It was an affair alright – with 6 children of their own; 20 grandchildren; about the same again in partners and in-laws; a sprinkling of great-rugrats; and siblings, cousins and friends who are still alive and kickin’ – we toasted in their honour.

Papa thanked all present and attributed the years to God and to a wonderful family. In turn we are the ones to thank them for living out such a great example of marriage. Their commitment to each other is recognised throughout the world as Nana and Papa received a number of congratulatory cards from people in government, and even a letter from the Queen!

I held Nana’s soft weathered hand and asked her thoughts on the occasion, “I didn’t know what all the fuss was about… it’s only 60 years. It’s not like it’s 50 years… and then it dawned on me, 60 years is a long time!” It sure is Nana, and it’s a rare but beautiful thing.

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