A local couple have received congratulations from Her Majesty the Queen after celebrating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary last weekend.
Alistair and Edna Smith (nee Cantlay), from the Old Smithy, Auquhadlie near Auchnagatt, marked the occasion with a family meal and by spending a few days in Nairn, where they had honeymooned 60 years earlier.
Mr Smith, who had started his working life as a reporter with the Elgin Courier, was called up to serve in Palestine in 1946 with the Royal Horse Artillery. He joined the Aberdeen City Police upon being demobbed, meeting Edna soon afterwards, a beauty consultant who then worked in the Bon Accord Boots the Chemist. The couple, who described their relationship as ‘love from the moment we first saw eachother’, shared a love of cycling and music and were married in Aberdeen’s Beechgrove Church.
After rising to the rank of Detective Inspector and helping to establish the forensic unit for Aberdeen City Police, Mr Smith took up a position at the Scottish Police College in Tulliallan in 1972, rising to the rank of Deputy Commandant. The couple then moved to the USA, where he took up a chair as Visiting Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of South Carolina.
The couple, who have 3 sons in Aberdeen and daughters who live in Louisiana and Alberta, have 10 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. Accepting a fruit bowl and flowers on behalf of Aberdeenshire Council from Councillor Isobel Davidson, the couple put their happy marriage down to loving one another and avoiding arguments. “We don’t argue”, said Edna. “If he says something I don’t like, I just let it pass!”