Belfast Telegraph

Inseparable... Gibson and Naomi toast seven decades of marriage

By Allan Preston

A Glengormley couple have said they are delighted to be celebrating their “miracle” 70th wedding anniversary today after battling ill health.

Gibson and Naomi Carson — aged 89 and 88 respectively — first met while working together in the 1960s at the Gallaher cigarette factory in Ballymena.

Together they went on to have three children,with the family now extending to 10 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

In recent years Gibson has suffered with the serious lung condition COPD, but his daughter Carol Bell (68) said that he was “like a big child waiting for Santa Claus coming” ahead of today’s landmark celebration.

“My daddy’s so proud that he’s got 70 years with my mum,” said Carol.  “I’ve just asked my mum how he proposed. She said, ‘He didn’t really’.

“He went and bought a ring, took her to a wee park and she said, ‘I might as well put it on now and go and show the family’.”

The pair opted for a double wedding, along with Naomi’s brother Dawson and aunt Gladys, at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bangor 70 years ago today.

While admitting her dad was not really known as the “romantic type,” Carol said “he would just tell you the secret was just to let my mother believe she was always right, that was his attitude”.

“I think my father just treated her so well, she was a pampered pooch we used to tell her,” she said. “He would have lifted and laid her. Now he has COPD there’s been a role reversal and she has to do a bit more for him.”

She added: “Today we’ve planned a family tea in my brother’s house. My father’s not able to go out for a big party these days.

“His condition is quite severe so we’ve just kept it to six people tomorrow and the grandchildren will pop in and out just to see them.”

Carol said the family enjoyed a loving home growing up. “I think they struggled when they were younger in life and didn’t have much money but they just got on well together,” she said.

“We had a very happy home though. I just remember two good parents.

“We may never have had very much but we had plenty of love and attention. We didn’t want for too much, not like the kids nowadays. Their grandchildren all just idolise them and they’re in and out quite a bit.

“We all wish them happiness, I needn’t say long life as daddy would laugh at that, but all the family wish them the best and we hope they have a good day and that they’re happy for a few more years to come.”

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