Generous Sunderland couple celebrate 60 years of marriage with kindness

Ossie and Iris Milley are celebrating their Diamond Wedding anniversary on 22nd May.

Ossie and Iris Milley are celebrating their Diamond Wedding anniversary on 22nd May.

A DIAMOND couple are today celebrating a milestone anniversary by showing their generosity.

Ossie and Iris Milley, from Ashbrooke, are set to donate money to two charities, instead of receiving gifts from their family, to mark their 60th wedding anniversary.

The kindhearted pair each chose a good cause and will split the money evenly between them – even topping it up with a donation themselves if they decide they want to give more.

The organisations they have decided to give money to are the Great North Air Ambulance and Cancer Research UK.

The latter, chosen by Iris, 81, is a cause close to the hearts of the couple who have four children and 12 grandchildren.

Ossie, 84, suffers from prostate cancer, and his father, Harry Milley, died of cancer, aged 38, in 1944.

The great-grandfather-of-six chose the Great North Air Ambulance, simply because it “does great work”. “We don’t want or need any presents,” said Ossie, who also suffers from problems with his legs and can’t walk far.

“If they want to give us any money, we will donate it to charity.

“They do good work, and I’ve always said if I won the lottery, I would give donations to charity.

“I don’t know yet how much we will be giving them, but we might make a donation as well.”

Iris is following a personal tradition of charitable giving.

She had a heart valve replaced in 1994, but continued to take part in the Boxing Day Dip until 2000 when her family urged her to stop and take care of her health. Ossie, who worked on the horses and carts and as a cellar man at Vaux Brewery, and Iris, who worked at Hepworth’s clothing factory, Pallion, met at The Rink dance hall in Park Lane.

They married at Thornhill Methodist Church – now Burn Park Methodist Church – on May 22, 1954.

“I can remember the very night we got engaged,” said Ossie.

“It was the 29th of November, 1952. I asked her, then I asked her dad.

“The secret to a happy marriage is just to put up with each other, and to keep working.”

Ossie and Iris will mark their diamond wedding with their family at a celebratory meal at The Sandcastle pub.

“We are looking forward to it,” said Ossie.

“We don’t know if the family have got any surprises planned.”




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