50 years of happy marriage belies the family name

Arthur and Bunty Hastie of Kelso who celebrated 50 years of marriage on friday.
Arthur and Bunty Hastie of Kelso who celebrated 50 years of marriage on friday.

well-known Kelso couple Bunty and Arthur Hastie celebrated their golden wedding on Friday, writes Sally Gillespie.

Fifty years ago Kelso rugby club captain Arthur took the day off from the Earlston Sevens to marry Bunty at Greenlaw Parish Church on September 2, 1961 – and returned to the field the following Saturday for the Kelso Sevens.

Asked the secret to 50 years of marriage, Bunty said: “I don’t honestly know – putting up with each other! There has to be a tolerance and understanding, it’s just an understanding between the two of you. He’s got a great sense of humour – and actually, technically, he’s quite easy to get on with, he really is.”

The pair think they met in Kelso through a mutual friend, before courting for more than four years. Bunty worked in Duns police station then joined the police force in Hawick before she married. Former Kelso Laddie, Arthur, meanwhile, was playing rugby for the South of Scotland during the winter and cricket for the same team in the summer.

He first played for Kelso First IX when he was 18 and captain of the Harlequins. Two years later, in 1955, he started playing for the South. He retired in his early 30s after a bad eye injury and then coached the Harlequins, becoming a South of Scotland selector and was on the SRU committee for six years. He served as a selector and assistant manager for Scotland, becoming the national team’s manager in 1995 for four years before taking over managing the sevens team for a year.

And during the summer he played cricket, for Kelso and for the South. In between times he worked as a baker/confectioner, moving into sales of business supplies before, along with four others, taking over McQueens in Galashiels and setting up Lynch McQueen selling office and business supplies, and office furniture.

His take on the secret to such a long marriage: “There have been a lot of highlights, a lot of ups and downs, but we’ve always been able to make up. We have been good friends as well, we saw a lot of the world together and we’ve always been able to have a laugh.”

A recent highlight, they both agreed, was when they took a post-retirement trip around the world visiting relatives in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and California.

The couple have two sons James, an advocate, and Graeme, who works with Tesco Banking, and five grandchildren: Jack, Eildon, Lily, Lucy and Amelia. They celebrated their anniversary with a family lunch on Saturday.