When Saviour and Teresa Grech got married in Malta, it was a modest affair.
But during their 60-year marriage they have built a good life for themselves, moving to Australia, Portsmouth and finally settling in Cosham.
Saviour, known as Sam, and Teresa celebrated their diamond wedding with a party attended by their family, who surprised them with a trip to Bath.
Teresa, 76, says she cried when they told her. ‘My tears just came out because I didn’t expect it at all when they announced it.’
‘We have a nice family – three great kids, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren,’ says Sam, 80.
Sam was 18 and Teresa was 14 when the pair met in Cospicua, Malta, while taking a walk in the piazza – a local pastime, according to Teresa.
There’s no boss who gives the orders. It’s me and Teresa togetherSam Grech
They didn’t take their relationship that seriously at first, she says, but romance blossomed and the couple decided to get married.
When Teresa was 16, the couple exchanged vows at the Immaculate Conception Church in Cospicua, before Sam went offshore with the Royal Navy for nine months.
‘When we got married, we didn’t have any luxuries but we were happy. But then we started building our life, because I had a good job in the navy,’ says Sam.
After five years’ service, Sam left to be with his family.
They moved to Australia for two-and-a-half years before Sam got a job in Portsmouth Dockyard. The family moved in with Sam’s brother Joe and his wife Annie in Fratton Road.
From there the Grechs moved to Byerley Road, Fratton, before upsizing to houses in Compton Road and Wesley Grove, Copnor. Teresa and Sam moved to Beaconsfield Avenue, Cosham, 10 years ago.
Sam worked in the dockyard for 22 years and retired as a leading slinger before his last job at Conquest Fine Bespoke Furniture. In his spare time, he managed the George Cross football team, mainly comprising Maltese dockyard workers. He led them to victory in the Dockyard League from 1979 to 1981 and took them to the final of the Junior Cup.
Teresa’s jobs included eight years making blow-moulded plastic containers at Bettix Ltd in Rodney Road, Fratton.
‘The good thing about our marriage is that we always improved our life as we went on,’ says Sam. ‘There’s no boss who gives the orders. It’s me and Teresa together.’