Kirkcaldy couple celebrates 60 years... with a little help from the Press

Jack (81) & Theresa (81)  Gowans celebrated their Diamond wedding anniversary on April 2.
Jack (81) & Theresa (81) Gowans celebrated their Diamond wedding anniversary on April 2.

A Kirkcaldy couple celebrated 60 years of marriage, and cut their diamond wedding cake with a wedding present from ... the Fife Free Press.

It was given to them after we reported on Jack Gowans falling into a coma in 1955.

John and Theresa Gowan using the knife present by the Fife Free Press 60 years ago to cut their celebration cake

John and Theresa Gowan using the knife present by the Fife Free Press 60 years ago to cut their celebration cake

His marriage to Theresa was postponed until he recovered, and the Press gave them the knife as a wedding gift - and the couple have kept it ever since.

Jack and Theresa (nee Kirk), were married on April 2, 1956 and had a celebration on Saturday to mark 60 years of marriage.

A service at St Joseph’s Church, Burntisland was held by the couple’s eldest son, Reverend Brian Gowans - the church’s parish priest.

More than 40 guests were present to celebrate the occasion. Friends and family attended, including John and Theresa’s two daughters, Adele and Mylene, and grandchildren Shaun, Nathan and Rebecca.

The original date for their wedding had to be postponed to April 1956 when Jack fell into a coma after an illness.

They were originally scheduled to wed on Hogmanay 1955 at St Ninian’s Church in Bowhill, but Jack’s illness and subsequent coma delayed this.

He suffered a cerebral haemorrhage, and as a result fell into a coma.

Jack said that back then there were “three courses of action” for diagnosis.

“You die, you become better, or you improve slightly,” he said.

Jack told the Fife Free Press that he was given a date by doctors that, if there was no sign of improvement by then, they would ‘pull the plug’.

Remarkably, as he was given a final check on that day, his eyes opened, and doctors knew his health would improve.

The story was covered by the Press who gave them a knife as a wedding present.

The couple, who live in the Ravenscraig area of Kirkcaldy, kept it - and used it to cut their celebration cake.

Discussing their years of marriage, Jack said: “We’re still happy together. It’s been a long time, and we look after one another.”

The Gowans received a card from the Queen, as well as a Papal Blessing from Pope Francis.

They have lived in Kirkcaldy for about 30 years after moving away from Fife to work in England.

Son Brian said that using the knife was a “nice gesture” to cut the cake with as it was there at the beginning of their married life.

Brian added that the celebration was extra special as some family members had made the trip to Fife from England.

He said: “You often hear how families will sometimes only meet at weddings and funerals, so it was nice as some of the relatives hadn’t met each other in years.”

The couple’s 50 year Golden Anniversary was covered in these pages 10 years ago.