Couple get church recognition

FELIXSTOWE couple Wally and Margaret Shaw have been presented with a special certificate from their church to mark their 70 years of marriage.

FELIXSTOWE couple Wally and Margaret Shaw have been presented with a special certificate from their church to mark their 70 years of marriage.

The platinum presentation was made on Wally's 101st birthday at St Felix Roman Catholic Church, where both he and Margaret, 99, have been parishioners for many years.

Family and friends were present at the church in Gainsborough Road to support the couple, who now live at the Margery Girling House sheltered complex in Gosford Way, Old Felixstowe.

Parish Priest Father David Hennessy presented Wally and Margaret with a special Diocesan Certificate.

Mr Hennessy told the gathering: “Many congratulations to you both. You might not know this, but you are the longest married couple in the Diocese of East Anglia.”

When asked jokingly if the marriage would last, Margaret said: “Well, it's too late in the day to call it off now!”

Most Read

She said their time together had flown by and it didn't feel like seven decades.

“We've always been very busy and we have enjoyed being active people getting involved with different organisations,” she said.

“We have done voluntary work ever since we married and the fun and satisfaction has been terrific.”

Wally was born in 1907 in a little cottage in Grange Road, Felixstowe.

He served aboard HMS Warspite during the war in the Mediterranean and in Egypt, serving for six years with the Royal Navy.

The couple first met on the beach in Felixstowe, where Wally promised he would teach Margaret to swim - a promise he failed to keep, much to her continued amusement. They married in 1938.

He worked for 44 years for the Eastern Gas Board and in his spare time had an equally long association with the St John Ambulance, both as an active officer on first aid duty and in training others.

In the 1953 floods he spent a long wet winter night in Langer Road in the freezing floodwater rescuing many people from drowning bravely going back time and time again throughout the hours to find new people stranded and frightened.

For 70 years he enjoyed swimming in the sea. He still likes to keep active and walks about half a mile every other day.

Margaret, a former nanny, was not only busy looking after their two children, Chris and Vicky, but was Brown Owl with Walton Brownies for 20 years and welfare officer of Felixstowe and District Disabled Club for 30 years.

FASTFACTS: 1907

Lawyer Mahatma Gandhi's civil rights movement among the Indian community in South Africa began.

Suffragettes fighting for the vote for women stormed the Houses of Parliament.

Music for The Teddy Bear's Picnic was composed by John Walter Bratton.

Experiments began using cathode ray tubes to try and transmit images via electronic television.

The first automatic washer and dryer was introduced.