Eastbourne couple to become oldest couple to marry
PUBLISHED: 10:45 03 June 2015 | UPDATED: 10:45 03 June 2015
An Eastbourne couple will break a world record to become the oldest couple to marry on 13 June. George Kirby and Doreen Luckie, who have been together 27 years, will have a combined age of 194 years and 281 days on their wedding day, when George will also celebrate his 103rd birthday.
George and Doreen met in 1988 after responding to an advertisement for an organisation called September Song, which arranged introductions for mature people seeking friendship. The company matched them together based on their likes, dislikes and general interests.
George, who was born in London, was bullied at school and became Great Britain Schools Boxing Champion in 1927 at the age of 15. Later, boxing in the Navy, he received a trophy from Prince Albert, the Duke of York (later King George VI), and a leather-bound certificate signed ‘Albert’. The Duke said that George was the best fighter he had ever seen.
George joined the RAF as a Physical Education instructor in 1933, remaining there for the next 25 years. In his boxing career George Kirby had 60 fights and won them all. On 30 April 2009 he was guest of honour at the Army London Regiment at a dinner and charity boxing match in London. As he approaches his 103rd birthday, George puts his longevity down to keeping himself tough and strong and thinks it is important to keep yourself fit. He was 94 before he passed his dumbbells on to his son.
Dorren was a shorthand typist for the Director of Public Prosecutions at Temple in the City of London, where she worked for a well known barrister called David Hopkin, who was half-Welsh, half-Portuguese.
Doreen had to type out documents and transcripts of court cases, which could sometimes be very harrowing. Those of the Kray twins, and Moors Murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley are particularly etched in her mind. Doreen later became a solicitor’s secretary. She will be 92 on 6 September, but Doreen still does yoga classes by the sea every week and walks briskly wherever she goes.
In October 2013 the couple settled in Eastbourne and now live permanently at George’s son’s hotel, the Langham, where they will marry on 13 June. The Guinness Book of World Records has confirmed that it lists the oldest couple yet to marry as having an aggregate age of 191 years 126 days, and so George and Doreen will break a world record with a combined age of 194 years and 281 days.
In lieu of wedding gifts, George has asked for anyone who might wish to send a present to instead make a donation to the Royal Air Forces Association. Doreen would welcome support for the Women’s Royal Naval Service Benevolent Trust, as she was a WREN during the Second World War.
To make a donation, cheques payable to ‘George Kirby’ for RAFA, or to ‘Doreen Luckie’ for WRNS Benevolent Trust, should be posted to them c/o Langham Hotel, 43-49 Royal Parade, Eastbourne, BN22 8LE
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