A special Salsburgh couple who met as teenagers at a dance at their local meetinghouse celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
Bernadette and Patrick Cushley from Salsburgh closed their eyes two weeks before his 20th birthday in the Little Flower Hall in Carfin – and have remained enthusiastic ever since.
Bernadette fondly remembers the night she met her husband more than five decades ago at the village dance at the age of 17.
She said, “I had just turned 17 and my mother took me to a dance at Little Flower Hall in Carfin. When she saw Patrick, she said, “There’s the man for my girl.” He was a handsome guy and I thought he was lovely. “
After a brief courtship, the lovebirds tied the knot on February 20, 1971 in the parish church of St. Francis Xavier.
(Image: Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser)
And like Welsh singer Tom Jones, whose single She’s A Lady won gold in March of that year, Patrick knew he had hit gold too when he married his beloved Bernadette.
Patrick from Salsburgh grew up on Reid Street and moved to Holytown after their marriage before finally settling on Duntilland Avenue in Salsburgh and raising their family there, where they have lived happily for over 40 years.
He attended St. Aloysius Elementary and Secondary Schools in Chapelhall and trained as a bus driver with SMT in Glasgow before moving to his brother’s Cushley Motorcoaches company. He spent his final years at McPhails Buses in Newarthill, where he worked for many years until he had to give up his career because of Crohn’s disease.
He then concentrated on raising his children, volunteered at the children’s panel and was also a volunteer ambulance driver. An avid cook and avid Celtic fan, he loves watching his favorite team and documentaries on television.
Bernadette, originally from Motherwell, attended Notre Dame Elementary School and St. Joseph Secondary School. After graduating from high school, she worked in a local shoe store and discovered her passion for nursing during her apprenticeship as a pharmacy assistant in a pharmacy.
She completed an entry into the nursing course at Motherwell College, continued her education at Monklands Hospital, and then worked as a nurse at Hairmyres Hospital for over 20 years before retiring.
“I worked shifts and Patrick took care of the kids, but we made it between the two of us,” said Bernadette.
She is an avid baker and skilled craftsman and uses her creative flair to build fairy tale houses for young people across Monklands.
Before the lockdown, the perfect couple enjoyed a cruise vacation in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, devoting themselves to their family and grandchildren, all of whom live locally.
The couple have nine children, Carolann, Eileen, Bernadette, Stephen, Monica, Diane, Kathleen, Patrick and Sean, and 15 grandchildren.
The golden couple celebrated their milestone in their home and were accompanied via Zoom by their extended family from Monklands and beyond to celebrate the momentous occasion.
Kathleen explained, “We are all very close, we live within 10 minutes of each other. We decorated our cars with balloons and played music. We showed them the video messages from my aunts, uncles and extended families in Australia on the portal. We couldn’t let go of it without doing something special. “
And the couple, “overwhelmed” with cards, flowers, and gifts from their loving family and friends, affirmed that the secret of their blissful 50-year union has remained “down to earth and interdependent”.
An enthusiastic Bernadette raved: “It was one surprise after another, it was absolutely brilliant. The celebrations couldn’t have been better. “