A WELL-known Chard couple have celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with their nearest and dearest.

John and Rose Gudge were married on January 25, 1964, on the island of Labuan in Brunei Bay.

John was sent on detachment to Labuan while serving with the British Army during the Indonesian conflict and Rose was based at the control tower at the airport.

She also worked at a school on the island.

John said: “I remember seeing this little robin popping about one day and I remember thinking I wanted to find a way to ask her to come out with me.

“We just clicked the first time we met. We got engaged in the August and were married at the Church of Corpus Christi in the January before moving back to England shortly afterwards.

“I often tell people that I took away a precious treasure from Labuan.”

The couple first lived in the Axminster area and then moved to Chard in May 1966, when Rose was the first Chinese woman to live in the town.

John has had various jobs, working as a coach driver, in engineering and the building trade, while maintaining an interest in music, not least as a member of the Moonlighters band which performed across the South-West.

He is also in his 20th year as chairman of the Chard branch of the Royal British Legion.

Rose’s career was varied too, but her main job was as a warden looking after elderly people at Essex Close Sheltered Housing.

She has also been involved with ActionAid for more than 30 years and helps out with Red Cross collections when she can.

The couple have three children – Stephen, 48, David, 47, and Victoria, 40, as well as three grandchildren – Daniel, 24, Jonathan, 19, and Jade, one.

Rose said: “John is very patient, kind and easy going and is always happy to help someone if they need it. I don’t know how we would have got on without his patience.

“I would like to say a big thank you to all the people who have helped me since I came to England – everyone has been welcoming and friendly.”

John added: “Rose has always been a popular lady, ever since she first came to Chard. “For a long and happy marriage you need perseverance, compromise. You have to be prepared to rectify wrong but in the end it’s all up to the almighty.”