PERSISTENCE certainly paid off for a Bayswater man now celebrating his 60th wedding anniversary.
Martin Dean, 89, had to ask his wife Nancy, 86, five times for her hand in marriage before she agreed.
"I said no to him quite often as I wasn't sure I wanted to get married," said Mrs Dean. "I was very independent. But eventually I agreed because I couldn't bear him out of my life."
The couple, who live in St Petersburgh Place, met in India where Mrs Dean's father worked in the Indian civil service and Mr Dean was posted during the war.
One evening, they went to a party hosted by some mutual friends.
"He can't sing and I can't sing, but we had some very musical friends who were singing. He came over to me and said 'You're not singing', and I said, 'Well, you're not singing either'.
"We began talking and kept talking all evening."
They stayed in touch, eventually moving back to England, where they married at the Oratory in Brompton Road, Kensington, in 1949.
Mrs Dean worked in the Red Cross and later for the Institute of the Blind, while her husband became a lawyer.
They now have three children and eight grandchildren.
Asked why their marriage has lasted so long, Mrs Dean replied: "Marriage is difficult but we both firmly believe that we have been given the grace to deal with difficulties.
"As well as having complete trust in each other and sharing the same beliefs, I think it's important that you have a sense of humour.
"My husband has complete integrity, and I've never heard him tell even a white lie in all the time I've known him."
Mr and Mrs Dean joined around 600 couples who were also celebrating their wedding anniversaries for a mass held at Westminster Cathedral last Saturday(30).
Couples celebrating their 10th, 25th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th and 70th anniversaries - with a combined total of 45,584 years of marriage - came together for the service held by the recently installed Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols.
The couples faced each other and stated their intentions to continue to love each other, and were blessed by the Archbishop.