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The secret bash that marked Jim and Mary's diamond anniversary

Jim and Mary

HATS off to the Davitt family... they managed to arrange a secret party for mum and dad Jim and Mary, compete with cake, balloons and piper – in total secrecy. That's despite Jim having a lengthy career as a policeman – someone well used to winkling out secrets! The occasion was the couple's diamond wedding anniversary, celebrated in style (though in compliance with social-distancing rules, Jim was quick to point out) in their home in Stranraer's Brickfield Road. The couple met when Jim was a National Serviceman. As a King'sOwen Scottish Borderers Lance Corporal, he was stationed at the regiment's HQ in Berwick-Upon-Tweed and there he met local girl Mary, a weaver. They were married at the Church of Our Lady and St Cuthbert in Berwick. National Service complete, Jim returned to his native Stranraer where he picked up the threads at the joinery business he'd left before joining the KOSB. He was briefly a porter at Dunragit station before joining the police in 1963. "I was stationed at Kirkcudbright for three years," he told the Free Press "and they were among the happiest years of my life." By 1966 he was back in Stranraer where he became the town's first Panda driver. He spent years in CID and in the Control Room. Local knowledge was a handy tool in the police, he admits. "I was in a home one evening and the gentleman of the house returned and was not too pleased to find the police there. His wife told him: 'Jim was at school with me' and that was the end of the conversation. People knew I had a job to do but that they would get a fair crack of the whip with me." Latterly, Jim was deployed as the court officer at Stranraer Sheriff Court and Mary worked for many years as a carer at the Thorneycroft home. The couple have two boys – Jim Jnr works for the NHS and lives in Musselburgh, while Michael works on the rigs in the North Sea but lives in Stranraer. The Davitts have four grandchildren, the youngest of whom is Michael Jnr and he was able to join the diamond celebration. Says Jim: "They family did well keeping all this from me. I though something might happen but not this with a piper and everything." The low-key nature of the celebration was dictated by lockdown, but it won't last. Says Jim: "When lockdown's over – we're having a party!"

<< back Published: 04 Jun 2020, 18:09

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