Friends and family to toast Exmouth couple celebrating 60 years of marriage

PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 October 2020

Ian and Jean celebrate 60 years of marriage this year. Picture: Jean Healey

Ian and Jean celebrate 60 years of marriage this year. Picture: Jean Healey

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Friends and family of an Exmouth couple celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary have been urged to raise a glass to them in lieu of a proper celebration.

Ian and Jean on their wedding day in 1960. that morning, Ian was saving people from flooding in the Colony. Picture: Jean HealeyIan and Jean on their wedding day in 1960. that morning, Ian was saving people from flooding in the Colony. Picture: Jean Healey

Ian and Jean Healey will have been married for 60 years on Thursday (October 8) and were planning to mark the occasion with members of their family and friends but celebrations had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Among those the couple were looking forward celebrating with were sons Mike and Andy as well as their wives Julia and Emma and children Claire, Ben, Anna, Cian and Saoirse.

Jean suggested those who wanted to wish them a happy anniversary ‘toast the happy couple’ ahead of rearranged celebration plans in the future.

When asked what the secret of a long and successful marriage was, Jean said there is no recipe but love and compromise was the best advice she could give.

Ian and Jean celebrate 60 years of marriage this year. Picture: Jean HealeyIan and Jean celebrate 60 years of marriage this year. Picture: Jean Healey

Jean Hardy, who had just returned from au pairing in Germany, met Ian Healey, who had returned from a tour of duty in Cyprus, in the summer of 1959 at a dance held at Exmouth Pavilion.

The couple were engaged the following Christmas and nearly 10 months later the couple were married at Withycombe Parish Church, despite Ian being up until 3am that morning helping residents affected by a flood in Exmouth.

He rescued people in the Colony area from the flood with a three-tonne truck and rowed some of the residents to safety.

It didn’t stop him marrying Jean the next day and the couple have been together ever since.

Jean told the Journal her wedding reception was held at the Cranford Hotel in Littleham Cross and cost her parents £41 and 10 shillings.

Ian stayed in the Royal Marines until his retirement in 1986, finishing as Captain and completing 30 years of service.

The couple then purchased the Sportingman’s Bookshop which toured across the country selling mainly equestrian books at events like the Badminton and Burghley House Trials, Olympia Showjumping and the Devon County Show.

After selling the business in 1999 Ian and Jean took up lawn bowling and were members of Madeira Bowling Club in Exmouth until recently.


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