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In full robes and holding an open Bible, the Rev. Tony Day stood before the couple in the Church of the Sacred Heart in Waterlooville, England, the Saturday after Christmas. "Do you, John Beauvoisin," he asked, "take this woman, Margaret, to be your lawfully wedded wife?" Answer: "I do." When her turn came, Margaret also said "yes" to taking John as her wedded husband. And then each placed a gold ring on the third finger of the other's left hand.
A touching scene, right? Yep, especially when you consider that this was the 59th time they have pledged themselves to each other. (It would have been 60 – the same number of years they've been married – except that in 1949 John was a sailor stationed in Bermuda and couldn't return home.)
So, has all that renewing of vows become old hat? Apparently not. Although the couple wore street clothes rather than bridal gown and tuxedo, they told reporters afterward that they still become emotional each time. Or, as Margaret put it, "It reinforces our promise to ... care for one another." Besides, plenty of well-wishers were on hand to serve as witnesses and supply reinforcement: 10 of their 11 children, most of their 23 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.
After military service, John went to work for the Royal Mail while Margaret taught college-level mathematics and held local political offices for the Labour Party. All that child-rearing, instructional work, and political involvement, Margaret conceded, didn't help much in developing her housekeeping skills, "but John puts up with that and keeps on loving me [anyway]."