A diamond couple will be celebrating 60 years of marriage this weekend.
Maurice and Edie Lillis met in 1954 at an aluminium works after Maurice left his home in County Cork, in Ireland, to find work.
He originally lived with his brother and worked for Laing’s in Gaydon. He was also a keen motorbike rider.
The couple were married at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, in Souldern on April 2, 1956, the village where Edie was born and has lived all her life.
The wedding reception was held in the church hall with guests eating boiled ham and Russian salad, before the happy couple walked to their home in the village.
Maurice was called up for national service six weeks later and was stationed in Cyprus for two years.
The couple has lived in Souldern ever since and has been a major part of the football community. For several years, Maurice was secretary of Souldern Football Club and then president and is well known in the area for his refereeing. Edie has also been supportive of Maurice’s love of football and for many years washed the football kits. They both took active roles in building the Souldern Football Club changing rooms.
Edie drove children to school in a mini bus and worked in the village shop, delivering groceries in a van to local villages.
The couple has three children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Their secret to a happy marriage is, ‘working together with a good family and great friends and neighbours’.
They will be celebrating with family and friends on the day with an afternoon tea party at Souldern Village Hall.