When William and Sylvia Leay celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary earlier this year, they asked guests to make a donation in lieu of gifts. Their kind gesture ended up raising several thousand pounds, and earned them a personal meeting with minister for health Samantha Sacramento.
This month, they presented a cheque for £5,000 to the minister for the Gibraltar Health Authority, asking for it to be split equally between the ambulance service and A&E department and the critical care unit at St Bernard’s Hospital.
In a letter, they explained how grateful they were for the way in which the staff at A&E and CCU had treated them after Mr Leay suffered a cardiac arrest while being triaged at A&E.
In reply, the minister said, “I am extremely grateful to Mr and Mrs Leay for their very generous personal donation to the GHA. I would also like to wish Mr and Mrs Leay a very happy anniversary and wish them all the very best and many more years of health and happiness together.”
Also Married in 1940…
With due respect to the Leay couple, the identity of one other couple married 60 years ago this year will be rather more familiar to readers. On 23 July, golfer Jack Nicklaus married Barbara Bash, a nursing student at Ohio State University.
At the time, Jack was also a student at the university (initially majoring in pre-pharmacy before changing to insurance), and he was in the midst of an impressive amateur career while selling insurance to make ends meet.
The following year, after their first child (Jack Jr) was born, Nicklaus turned pro. And the rest, as they say, is history. Today, after a record 18 major championship titles, he is considered the greatest golfer in history – although Tiger Woods fans might digress.
In a Twitter message on 23 July 2020 to mark their anniversary, Jack Nicklaus wrote:
“Today, Barbara and I celebrate our 60th wedding anniversary! We met our first week of college in 1957 and have been together ever since. Married at 20; 5 kids; 22 grandkids; countless memories. It’s been an unbelievable life together.
“People ask how we’ve stayed married for 60 years. Well, it’s 95% give and 5% take – on both sides. That’s been our success, and I could never imagine having that with anyone else other than Barbara. She has not only been a wonderful wife, but a wonderful mother and grandmother.
“I love you, Barbara. Let’s go for another 60 years!”
Also marrying in 1960, on 6 May, was Princess Margaret, the late sister of Queen Elizabeth II. The bridegroom was photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones (later named the Earl of Snowdon) and the wedding was held at Westminster Abbey. Sadly, after having a son (David) and daughter (Sarah), they were divorced in 1978.
Photos of the Leay couple supplied by HM Government of Gibraltar; and Jack and Barbara Nicklaus reprinted from Twitter @jacknicklaus