Derry couple Jim and Mary 'blessed' as they celebrate 60th wedding anniversary
A Derry couple have said they felt blessed to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary surrounded by their loving family at the weekend.
A special Mass was held in Jim and Mary Keys’ Templegrove home on Saturday afternoon, with Fr Michael McCaughey paying tribute to them following the service to mark their diamond anniversary.
The couple’s devoted children Paula, Christina, Damien and Alison and wider family had also organised a surprise party for them in honour of their 60 years of marriage.
Speaking after the Mass, they paid tribute to their parents, describing them as simply “the best” and devoted to each other.
Jim, from the Lone Moor Road, and Mary (nee McGill) from Ballyoan near Enagh Lough, met at The Borderland.
Jim (82) said: “We met at a dance, but the first time we went out together and had our first official dance together was at the Guildhall. It was the Star Factory dance. We knew we were going to be together.”
Mary (81) said: “I worked at the Star Factory at the time. And we got married then and had four children and we were blessed with the four of them, they are great children.”
Jim worked at the Tool Room in the BSR, and as well as working at the factory, Mary also worked part-time in Woolworths on Ferryquay Street.
Following their marriage on February 5, 1963 the couple moved into a house in the Bogside near Jim’s family home.
"We lived in 99 Bogside, it was a very old house,” Mary told the Journal. “And then when that was being renovated, we were moved out to Shantallow. We were there for five or six years and then we moved to Carnhill and we lived there for four and five years. Then we lived in Galliagh Park before we moved here.
"We had our ups and downs in life like everybody else down the years.”
"We have been blessed by a good family.” Jim added.
Fr McCaughey paid tribute to the couple and wished Jim and Mary Keys “good health and happiness”.
And the secret to 60 years of wedded bliss? “Keep your mouth shut!” laughs Jim.
From all of us at the Derry Journal, happy anniversary Jim and Mary!