City freedoms and fundraising part of the 60 year journey for couple

A life of giving back and helping others has given a Black Country couple 60 years of happy memories together

Susan and Antony Farnath have packed a lot into their 60 years of marriage
Susan and Antony Farnath have packed a lot into their 60 years of marriage

The lives of Antony and Susan Farnath have seen them meet at a scouts and guides jamboree, enjoy successful working lives, bring up two children and become immersed in the world of charity and fundraising over their 60 years of marriage.

They celebrated their diamond anniversary on Sunday, January 9 with a meal at home in Tettenhall with their daughter Lindsey and son Christopher and reflected on a lifetime of helping others and opportunities they were able to take up.

The 84-year-old Antony Farnath has worked over the years to raise funds for organisations such as the NSPCC and St Peter's Church in Wolverhampton, as well as putting on a charity gala attended by Princess Margaret and receiving a royal appointment.

He said: "I was given the freedom of the city of London in 2004 and other freeman awards, then I received a phone call from Windsor Castle to go for an interview and was appointed as the Knights of the Garter representative.

"This was an honour which came after a genealogical study found 72 members of the Knights of the Garter are in my direct ancestry.

"I have found the fundraising very rewarding and it's been a pleasure to help people and the secret to it all is Susan as she has been such an important and supportive part of my life."

The couple met in Sutton Park in August 1957 at the International Scout Jamboree in Sutton Park in Birmingham and began courting after that time, something 81-year-old Susan described as difficult due to her living in Retford and Antony living in Nottingham at the time.

She said: "We ran into each other when I was 17 and he was 20 at the Jamboree and I suppose you could say it was love at first sight as we found we had an awful lot in common.

Nottingham was an awkward place to get to as I had to take two trains to get there, going through Sheffield to change, or two hours on a bus, but Antony would come and see me on his motorbike.

"We made the best of it and he proposed to me on Christmas Eve 1959, then we were married on January 9, 1962 at East Retford Parish Church."

The couple settled down in Nottingham before moving to Sedgley in 1962 when Antony took a sales job at Wonderloaf in Wombourne, while Susan was headteacher at Claregate Primary School in Tettenhall from 1976 to her retirement in 2004.

Their retirement has seen them enjoy the fruits of Antony's fundraising, with regular trips to events at Windsor Castle, and also offer their services to the Livery Company of the Educators.

When asked what the secret of their long marriage was, Susan said: "We enjoy each others company and we know how to apologise when things go a bit wrong as we have always loved each other."

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