A love story that began in Largs over 60 years ago and has spanned continents reaches a significant milestone on Monday. 

On January 29, John and Gail McCallum will celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary. 

The couple, who now live in Durban, South Africa, originally wed in Largs' Clark Memorial Church in 1954.

John was born in Malta as his father was in the Royal Navy, but he returned to Scotland and grew up in Largs. 

One of his first jobs was as a compositor for the Largs and Millport Weekly News, where the Largs Printing Company is now located. 

John then went on to work for James Henderson, a TV engineer and radio mechanic who introduced cable TV to Largs. 

James set up a large screen in the town's Masonic Hall to show the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. 

John was part of the team involved in this project and also attended night school to study to become a radio mechanic.

By this point, John and Gail were sweethearts, having known each other since their schooldays and being inseparable. 

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Wedding day: John and Gail in Largs in 1954Wedding day: John and Gail in Largs in 1954 (Image: Newsquest)

John, not looking forward to a two-year national service in Germany, instead took an opportunity to join the communications department for the police in Southern Rhodesia. 

After John and Gail married in 1954, Gail followed him to Africa.

The couple returned to Largs a few years later, and John worked at Hunterston as a transport driver. 

He then returned to work for James Henderson, who had become a prominent TV retailer in the town and had installed one of the most modern TV relay systems in the UK. 

However, John's wanderlust persisted. 

He remembers enjoying a pint in the Victoria Hotel when a friend approached him with a job advert: the British police in South Africa were looking for radio technicians. 

John saw this as an opportunity not to be missed.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Celebrating 60 years of marriage, John and GailCelebrating 60 years of marriage, John and Gail (Image: Newsquest)

After retiring from the police, he briefly moved back to Largs with his family, where his daughter Sue was attending Largs Academy. 

John then took a post as a technician at a chrome refinery in Zimbabwe. However, with Mugabe's regime taking over, the family soon decided to leave the country. 

They moved to South Africa and have lived in Durban for over 30 years, having known about the area from past holidays.

Now, at the age of 86, John is still working, repairing microwaves, and caring for 84-year-old Gail. 

Their daughter Sue, who lives in London, is making the 8,300-mile aeroplane trip to Durban on Monday to be with her parents for the special celebration. 

The McCallums still have friends in Largs, including Googie Smeaton, who is pictured in their wedding photo.

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