Belfast Telegraph

Former Lord Mayor's diamond day

Queen congratulates couple as they mark their 60th anniversary

BY AMANDA FERGUSON

Former Ulster Unionist politician John Carson and his wife Martha have celebrated their Diamond wedding anniversary with a big family party.

John and Martha Carson, from Millisle, Co Down, were aged 20 and 19 when they tied the knot 60 years ago on September 30, 1953.

They met in 1950 at a church meeting on the Shankill Road in Belfast, when they were just 17 and 16.

"I pursued her," John said." We started to date and got engaged about a year-and-a-half later."

The couple's wedding service was at the now defunct Oldpark Gospel Hall in Torrens Avenue, Belfast, followed by a reception in the nearby community hall in Avoca Street.

"We had a brilliant day," John said. "It was a warm, friendly and happy family occasion."

John and Martha went on to have two daughters, Sharon and Gloria, and now also have five granddaughters and three great-grandsons.

Prior to retirement John was a UUP councillor for 28 years, an MP for North Belfast for seven years, the Lord Mayor of Belfast on two occasions, and he also received a CBE from the Queen.

He said Martha was always of great support to him when he was busy with constituency work.

Martha (79) says John (80) has always been a very good husband and is the perfect match for her.

"He's very outgoing and loves company," she said.

"He's a very good husband."

The Carsons were thrilled when they received congratulation letters from the Queen, and another one from the Lord Lieutenant of Co Down, to mark their anniversary.

BACKGROUND

The Queen sends congratulatory messages for Diamond (60th), (Blue Sapphire) 65th and Platinum (70th) wedding anniversaries.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their 65th anniversary, along with 2,000 other couples in the UK, last year.

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