Splendid isolation for ‘golden’ Derry couple Leo and Pauline Hickey in adopted home of Perth, Australia!

A ‘golden couple’ from Derry, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in somewhat unique circumstances this week.

Leo and Pauline Hickey, originally from the Steelstown Road, marked the momentous occasion in splendid self-isolation in beautiful Perth.

The Derry émigré moved to the Western Australian capital with their son and three daughters over thirty years ago.

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On Monday the couple celebrated five decades of marriage while avoiding all unnecessary social contact in their adopted home city where a state of emergency has been declared due to the spread of the COVID-19 illness.

Their daughter Oonagh got in touch with the ‘Journal’ to let their friends and family back home know that they didn’t let the pandemic get in the way of the celebrations.

“We left Derry in August 1989 to move to Perth, Western Australia. Us kids were 18 (Paul), 17 (Elaine), 15 (Oonagh) and 9 (Leona). My dad had the Petrocelli petrol station on the Culmore Road and Esso on Strand Road.

“None of us children wanted to move at the time, especially with no internet or social media, but we now realise the sacrifice they made for our futures and we’re now all very well settled, very happy and extremely grateful.

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“Dad has been going back now for some years to meet up with City of Derry Golf Club for their Spanish tour in May but of course has had to cancel for this year,” Oonagh explained.

Although the traditional Irish shindig has had to be postponed due to the crisis, the Hickey diaspora down under ‘is looking forward to the big party when the SARS-CoV-2 virus is eventually defeated. “We’re looking forward to celebrating altogether when this Covid-19 has hopefully passed us all by,” she said.

“Our folks celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Monday in self-isolation. What better way to reconnect after 50 years marriage,” she joked.

Very many congratulations from home to the ‘golden couple’!


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