During their marriage, Nick and Thelma Chappelle have lived in far-flung destinations, including Libya and Tehran.
But the Fareham couple’s golden wedding celebrations were a much more local affair, with an informal meal at the Lysses House Hotel in Fareham surrounded by 35 family members and friends.
Their daughter Lisa came over from Conneticut, USA to see them, and their other daughter Donna brought her children Evie and Molly to see their grandparents.
‘I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone,’ says Nick, 78.
The couple met through Nick’s friend Tony House and, after going to work overseas for six months, Nick went out with Thelma again before buying a ring and proposing to her.
The pair were married at St Coleman’s Roman Catholic Church in Cosham.
I can’t believe how quickly the time has goneNick Chappelle
When their children were young, the Chappelles moved to Tehran for three years and Libya for seven months as part of Nick’s job as a business development manager for Brown Boveri.
Thelma, 71, says: ‘Not many of us had families out there, so all the expats made friends. In both places we left when the revolutions started – we didn’t cause them though!’
They have no plans to slow down – Nick still works part time and Thelma teaches yoga.
She says the secret to their success is that ‘they have always loved each other, but are not joined at the hip.’