Faith has helped keep Norwich couple's marriage strong for 60 years
Archant © 2011
Hellesdon couple Peter and Beullah Gallant are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.
"We’ve had our sorrows but on the whole we have been very happy."
Family and friends gathered to raise a glass to the couple, who celebrated their diamond wedding last Thursday.
Peter and Beullah married in a low-key affair at the registry office at City Hall on June 9, 1951, when King George VI was still on the throne and Winston Churchill was prime minister.
They are perhaps best known for the business that they ran together as newlyweds, Taverham Turkeys.
Based where Taverham High School and Wensum Valley Golf Club now stand, the company employed 50 people before Mr Gallant sold to the Ross Group in 1967 and then became part of the company’s management for the next 12 years.
The company was always a major part of their lives, even on their wedding day.
Mr Gallant, now 87 years old, recalled: “It was a very low-key wedding as I had to get back to the farm. That was one of the things we had agreed, that Beullah would help on the farm. We had turkey eggs which needed turning three times through the night so had to do that, but we did that totally by agreement.”
Thinking along the same wavelength seems to have been a key part of Peter and Beullah’s marriage, as they say they rarely argue.
This marital harmony is put down to one simple thing, their Christian faith. The couple share a reading from the bible twice a day, in the morning and evening, and attend Meadow Way Chapel in Hellesdon every Sunday, establishing the luncheon club for its parishioners. Mrs Gallant, five years younger than her husband, aged 82, continued: “The thing that has kept us together is the church. We’ve had our sorrows but on the whole we have been very happy.”
Mr Gallant added: “We have always agreed about everything because we talk about an issue until we come to an agreement.”
The couple have three daughters and one son, as well as five grandchildren. Their eldest daughter is Anne and youngest is Rachel, with Timothy their son.
Middle daughter Joy helped organise her parents’ celebrations, with family coming together for a small party at their Pinewood Close home in Hellesdon at the weekend.
Joy said: “I’ve never seen them argue, or fight, or have a cross word and I would say their secret is their faith, putting God first.
“They’ve always done things together and in the initial part of their lives mum was always involved and supporting dad with the business.”
One thing that brings an extra big smile, unsurprisingly for a family brought up around a turkey business, is the mention of Christmas time.
They bred broad-breasted bronze turkeys and American mammoth bronze turkeys, as Mr Gallant explained: “Our first Christmas I can remember having to bring the turkeys into the house because we had no cold store.
“We had a lot of stuff on the bare floor boards waiting, mostly to go down to London. But once we had done our business a couple of days before we could enjoy Christmas and would go round the stores in Norwich and get some fantastic deals on gifts late on!”