It is a love that has endured for 60 years, and now Banff couple George and Hazel McKessick have celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.
George, 89, and Hazel, 81, McKessick managed to organise a celebration of their love on April 2, attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire.
The couple first met in 1960 at a dance at the Fisherman’s Hall in Buckie – which is still standing today – and then at Joe’s Café in the Square in Buckie.
The couple’s grandchild, Colene Woolcott fondly remembers hearing of their first meeting.
She said: “Grandad had put money into a vending machine to get a bar of chocolate, and some of his money fell on the floor, and granny stood on it.”
The couple were married at the Rathven Church in Buckie, where the bride lived and at the time was caring for her mother.
Mr McKessick was working as a dairy cattleman at Glassaugh in Banffshire at the time.
It was a sunny day but also cold and windy. Unfortunately, the photos from the wedding failed to process, and another photographer had to return for extra shots.
‘You just have to take life as it comes and keep smiling’
However, by that point, the couple and their guests were enjoying themselves with a drink at the reception held at the St Andrews Hotel in Buckie.
After welcoming their first son, Colin, in 1963, the couple moved to Minnonie, east of Banff, where they stayed for 15 years, with George working as a cattleman and Hazel bottling the milk.
They welcomed their second son, Neil, in 1966. In 1978 they moved to Banff, where Mr McKessick took over as a cattleman at Gellyhill Farm in Macduff.
Both Mr and Mrs McKessick have been retired since 2000 and have an expanded family, including three grandchildren: Colene, 37, Nicola, 30, and Stuart, 27, and two great-granddaughters Fearne, three, and Ava, five months.
In later life, the couple became known for their beautiful garden as Mr McKessick is a keen gardener.
The couple also enjoyed Press and Journal bus holidays throughout Europe and visiting Florida with family.
Earlier this year, Mrs McKessick had to move to Dounemount Care Home, Macduff, due to declining health.
Ms Woolcott said: “The family are grateful to the staff at Dounemount for hosting a private celebration, which was attended by the Lord Lieutenant, Andrew Simpson, and councillor Scott Cassie. The couple were even able to have a few dances.”
The couple were joined by family, including daughters-in-law Alison and Caroline and George’s sister Agnes Blackhall.
When asked what the secret to a happy marriage is, George shared: “You just have to take life as it comes and keep smiling.”