The secret to a long and happy marriage is ‘respect and genuine love’, according to a well known Coleraine couple, who were honoured by Asda Coleraine last week.
Having launched a search to find the longest married couple in the local area, the Coelraine store welcomed Robert and Margaret, known as Ivy, Kirkpatrick into the store to tell their story.
Married for 62 years, and having met several years before that, Robert and Ivy have lived in the centre of Coleraine since the 1960s. However, their love story began in London, when Robert spotted Ivy working in the Maypole Grocery Store.
“My brother also worked in the store,” said Robert, “so I asked him to find out if she liked the look of me, and if she was interested in a date. Luckily she was, and we had our first date at the local picture house.” The romance went on to blossom from that moment and today the diamond couple have nine children, 25 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. Robert says, “We have a great system – Ivy does all the birthday cards and presents, and I look after Christmas!”
The couple describe their greatest adventure as an exciting trip to California around 15 years ago. Staying with friends they took in the sights around Los Angeles, San Diego and Palm Springs describing it as “a wonderful trip they’ll never forget.”
On the secret of such a long and happy marriage, Robert had a simple message saying: “It’s all based around respect. “Respect and genuine love.”