Five siblings all reach 50 years’ marriage

The nine remaining members of the Oates family

The nine remaining members of the Oates family

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Five Manx siblings have recorded the remarkable and perhaps unique achievement of being married for 50 years each.

Peel couple Margaret and Eric Craker recently celebrated their Golden Anniversary with Margaret becoming the fifth of her brothers and sisters to do so .

The happy couples comprise: Robert Oates who married Helen Killip in May 1957; Agnes Oates who married Jack Hulme in June 1957; Peter Oates who married Margaret Clucas in April 1958; and Denis Oates who married Muriel Corrin in September 1958.

Sadly Muriel died in October 2011 after 53 years of marriage.

Margaret and Eric, who now live at Ballaterson Meadow, celebrated the landmark with a party at Peel Golf Club.

Eric was born in Surrey and found love while on holiday in the island.

He met Margaret by chance after he was too ill to stay at the bed and breakfast he had booked, and instead stayed at a friend’s house which turned out to be Margaret’s family home in Castletown.

After marrying, Margaret moved to Surrey with Eric where she worked for Co-operative Insurance. The couple went on to have two sons, Brian and Paul, and ran a successful family bedding plant nursery business before retiring and moving back to the island in 2006.

Paul followed his parents by moving to the Isle of Man with his wife, Debbie, and family in 2007. Brian, meanwhile, lives with his wife, Vanita, in Southbourne near Bournemouth.

Eric and Margaret now have five grandchildren: Edward, aged 10, Thomas, nine, Eric, six, George, six, and Rubyann, three.

As part of their 50 year celebrations, Margaret and Eric attended the church service at Castletown Methodist Church, 50 years to the day they were married there.

Margaret said: ‘We were all born in Malew Street, Castletown, born at home, as was often the case in those days.

‘We then went to Victoria Road School [in Castletown] and afterwards to Douglas High School.

‘I left the island when I married Eric and then came back home after 42 years, after we retired from the nursery business, when we moved to Peel.’

Asked what the secret of their success for all five couples staying together so long Margaret said: ‘It’s difficult to say really, I suppose it helps that we’ve all been lucky to have been healthy as much as anything, though we did sadly lose Muriel three and a half years ago.

‘We’ve just all been happy together. Nowadays people tend not to get married as much, or if they do they don’t tend to stay together as long, so I suppose it’s unlikely to occur again.’

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