60 years wed for well known Montrose couple

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Well-known Montrose couple George and Ethel Norrie celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary last week.

The Norries celebrated their 60 of years of marriage last Thursday (September 5) and enjoyed a meal at the Park Hotel with more than 30 friends and family on Saturday (September 7).

George, who was born at King Edward, Banffshire, met Montrose girl Ethel at a dance at the Locarno Ballroom when George was on leave from the Merchant Navy.

The couple married in the Methodist Church, in Montrose on September 5, 1953.

The Review asked them if it was love at first sight, and Ethel said: “Well, I fancied him and he must have fancied me too.”

George’s family moved to Marykirk when he was 14, and George cycled to Craigo Mill to ask for a job, but the manager, Mr Gibson, told him he was too young for an engineering apprenticeship, but that he’d take him on for six months.

At the end of the six months, George began his apprenticeship which lasted five years.

After completing his apprenticeship, he joined the Merchant Navy as a junior engineer officer.

Ethel said: “It was hard because George was a way for about seven months at a time, but I knew that when we went together, and when he was home on leave he was back for about a month.”

George said it was hard being away from Ethel for long periods of time, but that he loved his time in the navy and New Zealand was the most interesting place he visited.

After almost seven years at sea, George went to work at Glaxo Laboratories as an engineering inspector and retired in 1993, after 37 years. In 1995, he received an MBE from the Queen at Holyrood Palace, in Edinburgh.

The Norries have been involved in the community in the area for a number of years, George stood as an Independent councillor for 40 years and councillors visited him and Ethel on their anniversary congratulate them (pictured).

George received an the title of an honorary freeman of Angus in 2007 and is an honorary member of the Rotary club in Montrose.

Ethel has volunteered with Oxfam in Montrose for the past 43 years, and both of them ran a youth club for 12 to 20 year olds in Friockhiem for 25 years.

When asked what the trick to a successful marriage is, Ethel said: “Doing things together. We’ve done lot of things as a couple, we went away and travelled about a lot.”

George said: “Just do as you’re told.”