A TILLICOULTRY man says he has his wife to thank for his life as the couple marked their 65th wedding anniversary yesterday (Tuesday).

Both originally from Glasgow, Margaret – known to most as Pearl – and George Aitken moved to the Wee County in 1970 and have lived here ever since.

However, in 2012, George suffered a heart attack and explained: “I thought I was gone. If it hadn’t been for this lady here I would have been gone, twice!”

Before suffering his heart attack, George was being prepared for an operation in hospital when he was administered morphine – something he is allergic to.

Quick-thinking Pearl saved his life by alerting the doctors to the fact that he’d suffered a bad reaction to the painkiller in the past.

And when he suffered his heart attack at home, it was his wife who found him and called the ambulance, later faithfully visiting him each day during his five-week recovery.

Luckily, he pulled through and the couple are now enjoying retired life in the Hillfoots town.

They originally met at an old-time dance in the city and while one of George’s friends also got to dance with Pearl, he stood no chance in the end.

He said: “There was five of us, five boys, and we saw this girl across from us and we were all saying: ‘Oh, she’s nice – go for it!’”

Determined to beat everyone to it, he told them: “Take a seat boys, I’m first!”

It all started there and they tied the knot at St Michael’s Church on a Friday all those years ago with the honeymoon to Blackpool thereafter.

Since then, they’ve had a daughter, Alison, who would do anything for them, and are the proud grandparents to two boys.

Pearl, 88, worked as a copy typist and later at a travel agency while George, 86, spent his working life in the coal industry, starting at the age of 14.

Over the years, the couple enjoyed camping trips across the UK, first with a borrowed tent and later with their very own caravan.

As for the secret for a long-lasting marriage, George offered his insight, saying: “The one thing is – if you have an argument don’t take it to bed with you.”

George said that some couples might argue and not speak to each other for long periods and added: “I think that’s rubbish, life’s too short!”