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‘Talking through your problems is important’: Couple celebrate special anniversary with surprise reunion

PUBLISHED: 06:30 01 January 2019

Golden wedding anniversary is celebrated for John and Maureen Matthews. Picture: Mick Howes

Golden wedding anniversary is celebrated for John and Maureen Matthews. Picture: Mick Howes

Archant

The festive period is often a special time of the year for family and friends to come together and celebrate.

John and Maureen Matthews on their wedding day Picture: The Matthews familyJohn and Maureen Matthews on their wedding day Picture: The Matthews family

And for one Lowestoft family this year’s festivities took on extra significance, as John and Maureen Matthews celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

The couple met as teenagers at a café in Beccles in early 1968, and they were married by the end of that year.

Marking their golden wedding anniversary in style on December 21 with a family meal and evening out at the Hatfield Hotel, there was also an added bonus as Maureen’s half sister Elsa Prosch “made a grand entrance” and surprised the couple as she came from America for the celebrations.

Mr Matthews, 70, was born in Woolwich Military Hospital in London in 1948 and first came to Beccles when he was 14, before returning to the town aged 19.

Back row from left to right - Lyn Matthews, Gary Matthews, Mischa Matthews, Michaela Matthews, Elsa Prosch, Stephen Brock. Front row, John and Maureen Matthews. Picture: The Matthews familyBack row from left to right - Lyn Matthews, Gary Matthews, Mischa Matthews, Michaela Matthews, Elsa Prosch, Stephen Brock. Front row, John and Maureen Matthews. Picture: The Matthews family

“We first met in Beccles in early 1968,” he recalled.

“I was sat in a café enjoying myself when in came this lady and I thought ‘wow.’ It took a week or two before I plucked up the courage to ask her out.”

Mrs Matthews, 68, recalled: “In the 1960s there was a café in Beccles called The Zodiac, it was where we all used to hang out.

“He was the new guy in town and the one for me.

“We were going to get engaged at Christmas but then a house came up for rent, John moved in there and things moved very quickly.”

The couple married in 1968 at St Michaels Church in Beccles and lived in the town for a number of years before moving to a mobile home at The Beeches Park, in Victoria Road, Oulton Broad, where they’ve been for more than 20 years.

They have two sons John, 49, and Gary, 47, and grandaughter Mischa, 10.

Mrs Matthews said: “The time has gone so quick. I don’t believe those people who say you’ve never had an argument – talking through your problems is important.”

Proud of his parents, son Gary – who served 23 years with the British Army in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Iraq, Germany and all over the world – said: “It is great to celebrate mum and dad’s 50th wedding anniversary and it is nice to support them as they supported me through my life.”

The family had a “lovely evening” and “there were tears,” according to Gary Matthews, as the family meal turned into a surprise reunion with Mrs Matthews’ half sister Elsa at the celebrations on December 21.

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