Weston councillor celebrates diamond wedding anniversary with ‘wonderful’ wife

Ian and June celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary at a Weston care home.

Ian and June celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary at a Weston care home. - Credit: Archant

A Weston councillor has praised his ‘wonderful’ wife’s care home for helping them celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary – in full PPE.

Ian and June on their wedding day.

Ian and June on their wedding day. - Credit: Archant

With Stuart House off limits to visitors, Ian Parker met June in a gazebo that had been decorated with balloons and banners.

After he donned his gloves, mask and apron the staff presented Ian with a card with a touching quote inside from June: “I’d do it all over again.”

“We’re two of a kind,” said Ian. “We’ve had our moments but nothing is insurmountable.

“The virus has split us. This is the first time we’ve been apart.

“Before lockdown I visited her for six hours every day. Then along came Covid and we didn’t see each other for five months, but we have tablets and speak by video.

“The staff have kept Covid out of the home through a strict regime. They must be really restricting themselves.

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“I thank them all for what they do, they’re looking after my wife.”

Westonians Ian and June got married on August 20, 1960.

Looking back on how they met, the Labour member for North Somerset Council’s Weston South ward said: “I was 16 when we met on the last bus back from town one evening.

“We were living in Bournville at the time. I chatted her up over her garden gate. We struck up a friendship.

“I was in the Merchant Navy. I went away for 13 months – I thought she was going to give me up, but that didn’t happen.

“A year later we were engaged, and another year later we were married. The rest is history.

“I was in the Merchant Navy for five years. It would’ve been longer if I hadn’t met June.”

The turning point came after a stormy voyage back from France, when the ship Ian was on almost capsized. When they finally docked in Ipswich someone came asking for Parker – June was on the phone.

“‘I don’t want you to go on the ships any more’, she said. What’s the point being married if you’re away all the time?” said Ian, who spent the rest of his careers in trade unions.

He has been a councillor for 26 years and in 2000 was Weston Town Council’s first mayor, while June, who was also a councillor, embraced her role as mayoress.

“We still love each other very much,” said Ian. “It’s just about being nice to each other. It’s extra special with her.”

Stuart House manager Debbie Brazier said: “We couldn’t do what we would’ve wanted to do because of the current situation.

“I told June a week before that her diamond wedding anniversary was coming up. I said 60 years is such a long time. She said she’d do it all again.”