PICTURES - Northern Ireland’s oldest married couple celebrate 78-years of happiness - ‘my advice is just do what you’re told’

Northern Ireland’s oldest married couple have just clocked up another milestone - 78 years of married bliss.

By Gemma Murray
Thursday, 24th September 2020, 8:03 am

Joseph (102) and Nellie (101) Graham from Randalstown have enjoyed a lot of wedding anniversaries - having been married on September 23, 1942.

And with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year will be more subdued than ever.

But this will not stop them getting massages and phone/video calls from their children, 11 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

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According to their grand-daughter Joanne Graham the pair met as childhood sweethearts in Taylorstown Elementary School outside Randalstown.

“They sat beside each other at the same desk, so they have known each other pretty much all of their lives, about 96 years!,” she said.

“They got married 23rd September 1942, in the middle of World War 2 in The Grange Presbyterian Church”.

Joanne adds that her granny told her about how their wedding day started with a hiccup when “the car (a taxi) got stuck up the lane on the morning of the wedding and how grandad only picked up his suit the night before the wedding”.

But life has seemingly moved on relatively smoothly since then.

“Nellie is certainly the boss,” said Joanne.

“Grandad says you just have to agree and say nothing, that’s how it has lasted so long.”

Joanne adds that her granny has been a shrewd home maker - with strict meal times.

“Granny has always been a keen home baker and they have strict meal times that she sticks to even now,” added Joanne.

“She gets up early every morning to make sure grandad gets his porridge to start him off for the day.

“They say hard work and ‘just getting on with it’ is the key to a long , successful happy life”.

Joanne added: “Granny would always say if you get married to put the money into a house as there is so much money wasted on the day itself.

“She always says that flowers are nice but too dear just for them just to die.

“She would say to just keep working hard and take each day as it comes.

“Granda’s advice is do as you’re told”.

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78-years of married bliss - Joseph and Nellie Graham - a life in pictures

Last updated: Wednesday, 23 September, 2020, 13:34

  • The couple met in primary school
  • They married on September 23, 1942
  • They still live together in Randalstown, Co Antrim
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