Gloria and John Caruana embarked on a whirlwind romance together more than 50 years ago – and today they are as close as ever.
The couple from Cosham celebrated their golden wedding anniversary by having a family lunch at O Sole Mio in Port Solent, one of their favourite restaurants, then a party at daughter Samantha’s house, a few doors down from their home in Chatsworth Road.
‘We had a lovely meal, it was lovely to have mum and my daughters around and that everyone was well,’ says Gloria.
‘When we got there, there were decorations on our table and I got quite emotional.
‘The 50 years have flown by. I wish we could live it all again together.’
Gloria, 67, and John, 75, met in 1964 when John was working as an electrician in Portsmouth and Gloria worked at a kiosk on Clarence Pier.
John ordered a lemonade from her and Gloria watched him walk away when he decided to turn around and go back.
‘It is called love at first sight – it does work, it is amazing,’ says Gloria.
Four weeks later on John’s birthday on July 4 they were engaged. Gloria was 17 and John 25.
They married on December 19, 1964 at St John’s Catholic Cathedral in Portsmouth with a reception after at The Avenue Hotel in Stamshaw.
After the meal in Port Solent, the family went back to Samantha’s house for a party and a luxury buffet, and the golden couple were given their presents.
Samantha says: ‘They have both made great sacrifices for us as a family. They are amazing parents – what an achievement 50 years of marriage is.’
The couple have lived in Cosham for the past 43 years with Gloria’s mother Lillian, who is 93.
John is Maltese and he came to England in 1964 to work at the Torpedo Depot in Priddy’s Hard.
He then worked as an electrician in Portsmouth Dockyard from 1964 and retired in 1997.
Gloria worked at a kiosk in Clarence Pier, Southsea for many years.
She then went on to work for the NHS at QA Hospital, Cosham from 1973 to 2010.
They have three daughters – Tracy, 49, Julie, 43, and Sam, 37 – plus two grandchildren, George and Grace, both aged five.