A SALISBURY couple who courted each other through writing letters are celebrating their diamond wedding anniversary today.
Roy Collas, who turns 85 tomorrow, was visiting his brother while on leave from the army when he met June, his sister-in-law’s niece. A posting to North Africa saw the couple exchanging letters, and when reunited, they were married at the Salisbury Registry Office in Blue Boar Row.
They lived in Winchester Street before settling in Bishopdown, where they have spent 52 happy years. Born in Guernsey, Mr Collas was evacuated to Scotland on the last boat out from the island in 1940.
He joined the army at 18 and served with 48 Field Regiment for six years, then spent 36 years as a postman. Mrs Collas moved from Portsmouth as a young child when her father was posted to Porton Down. Before getting married she worked at the Wilton Carpet Factory and the New Forest Laundry, later working for many years as a home help.
Over the years the pair have enjoyed travelling all over the country, firstly in their own car and later on coach trips. They used to run a weekly luncheon club for the elderly in Bishopdown and Mrs Collas still attends the St Mark’s Church Tuesday Group in Barrington Road.
Until losing his sight, Mr Collas made matchstick models but since 2008 he has become a champion player for the Salisbury Blind Ten Pin Bowling Club. Mrs Collas, 81, who was left partially paralysed following an accident in 2011, said they had followed the advice of her grandmother - never go to bed on an argument.
She said: “We’re very close to one another; right from the start we just clicked. “I came from a broken home and Roy lost his mother at eight so we always said we would try to keep together so as not to end up like our own families, which fingers crossed, we have. “He’s always been happy go lucky, he’s just brilliant.”
The couple, who have three children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, are celebrating their special anniversary over several days, with an afternoon tea, a party and an evening meal all planned.