Sixty years on from their wedding day, Rosemary and Michael Pharo are still smiling.
‘We’re very happy,’ smiles Rosemary.
It’s almost as if nothing has changed since they met in 1959 at the Treasury, London.
Originally from Gosport, Rosemary, 79, moved to London when she was just 17 after she passed her civil service exams in Portsmouth.
‘I worked in the office of the Chancellor of the Exchequer who was Derick Heathcoat-Amory then. That’s where I met Michael,’ explains Rosemary.
Michael, 85, and originally from Kent, was working in the Treasury too. And after courting for just three weeks, the couple decided to get engaged.
Rosemary says: ‘At that time, you and your husband could not work in the same building.
‘But me and Michael were in the same building – the same office, in fact.
‘I went to work at Bromley Court but didn’t like it so went back to the Treasury.’
The Pharos married on May 20, 1959, at Hayes Free Church, Bromley.
‘It rained but I was so excited. It was a very happy day,’ smiles Rosemary.
The couple honeymooned in Clovelly, Devon, and returned home to West Wickham. They have two daughters, Liz and Samantha, and three grandchildren.
Rosemary says: ‘After I had our daughters, I had an offer to study music at Paloma College, London.
‘It was amazing. Afterwards I taught in Elson Infant School, Gosport, for a while.’
After her retirement, Rosemary volunteered for Home Start and helped families with young children who were going through difficult times.
‘I love helping children. Since I’ve left, I have managed to maintain friendships with some of the children and families I helped, which was nice,’ says Rosemary
Both Michael and Rosemary are involved in Gosport’s U3A (University of the Third Age) and have run various clubs such as astronomy, jazz and opera. Michael founded the Cams Hall Golf Club and plays golf regularly. Together, they enjoy walking and playing bridge.
To celebrate such a milestone, the Pharos returned to Bromley Court Hotel, where they had their wedding reception, on their anniversary.