Diamond delight: Celebrating a special anniversary

1 March 2018 11:00

It was happy tears all round at our Llandudno rehabilitation and training centre last week.

Blind veteran Ralph and his wife Maureen, who were taking a holiday at the centre, were surprised with cake, applause and a serenade from staff and veterans to mark their diamond wedding anniversary.

Ralph served in the Royal Army Service Corps as a Batman. He took a shine to Maureen at his sister’s Christmas party - despite her having a boyfriend at the time!

Photo of blind veteran Ralph Baines and his wife Maureen being presented with a cake for their diamond wedding anniversary.
Ralph and Maureen said they were overwhelmed with the surprise!

Three months later Ralph’s sister found out Maureen was single and loaned Ralph the money to take her on a date to the pictures. The rest, as they say, is history. 

Ralph and Maureen have been married for 60 years and have one daughter, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Ralph joined our charity in 2014 after losing his sight to ARMD. 

When we found out that Ralph was frustrated that he couldn't read his bills or correspondence anymore due to his sight loss, we provided him with a text scanner so that he didn't have to rely on Maureen. The couple have also enjoyed several happy breaks at our centres, where they enjoy going on trips out and meeting other blind veterans and their spouses. Maureen says:

"I can’t praise Blind Veterans UK enough, they’ve been marvellous to both of us. To be surprised with a cake on our anniversary was so overwhelming and we were both over the moon."

As for the secret to a long and happy marriage, Ralph says:

“I love everything about Maureen. Since losing my sight she’s become my eyes and I would honestly be lost without her. To celebrate our anniversary at the Blind Veterans UK centre was the icing on the cake.”