IN THE same church where they married and have worshipped for most of their life together, Michael and Anne Tibbs were joined by family and friends for a service to celebrate their diamond wedding.
The occasion at St Peter’s Church, Lynchmere, was a real family affair with their sons, Christopher and Philip, playing the organ and trombone and their grandchildren playing other musical instruments, singing and reading.
Only brief weeks after their marriage in 1951, the couple set sail for the Sudan where Mr Tibbs, now 90, was to be the last District Commisioner.
While there, he was involved in trying to settle the on-going dispute between the north and the south as to where the borders lay between tribal lands and movements.
The posting also led to a book, A Sudan Sunset, which they co-wrote and Mrs Tibbs illustrated.
They have also produced two books about Lynchmere, which has been Mr Tibbs’ home for more than 80 years and where he has served on the parish council, the parochial church council and also as a churchwarden.
The couple also initiated the Lynchmere Society, which bought the Stanley, Lynchmere and Marley Commons from the Cowdray Estate to prevent them being sold to a forestry company.
Instead of pine woods, the 300 acres are being transformed back to lowland heath.