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Colleagues pull out the stops to help Ken and Alice celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary

April 27, 2020 02:26 PM

When colleagues at our Linwood store heard that regular shopper Ken McGinley and his wife Alice would be spending their diamond wedding anniversary apart because of the coronavirus lockdown they pulled out all the stops to help them celebrate their big day.

The couple, who live in Johnstone, married 60 years ago, but sadly Alice, who's 77, developed dementia and moved into a local care home a year ago.

Ken, who's 81 and has health issues, wanted to do something special for his wife, but isn't allowed to leave his home due to lockdown guidelines.

So he called our Linwood store and asked if they could send Alice a cake to mark their anniversary.

Former Royal Engineer Ken – a Christmas Island veteran – said: "They were very understanding and they took my name and address and the next day they phoned me to say they’d got me a Mary Berry with decorations on.

"I asked when I would go and collect it and they said they would deliver it to me and it would be all free of charge. It really was such a wonderful gesture.

"I was so overwhelmed when Claire from the store brought the cake. It was such a surprise. It just made me and my daughter's Louise's day. The store also got a cake for me and a box of chocolates too."

Louise took the cake to her mum at Cochrane Castle Care home, along with the candles and a card from all the staff at the store. Ken also donated his cake and chocolates to another part of the care home.

Staff at the care home brought Alice to the window to see Louise. Ken said: "The staff at the care home are wonderful I can't thank them enough.

"It's only a five-minute drive for me to see Alice and I used to go every day. I can't wait to see her again when this thing is all over so we can celebrate properly."

Asda Linwood store manager Danny McCabe said: “When we got the call from Ken telling us about his dilemma it really pulled on the heartstrings of all our colleagues in store. We quickly arranged for a cake, candles and a card to be delivered to his house by our community champion Claire.

"We really hope that Ken and Alice can be reunited soon so they can celebrate together. Happy 60th wedding anniversary to you both from all at Asda Linwood.”

Doreen Smith, activities co-ordinator at the care home, said: "It was just a lovely gesture for Asda to do something special like that in these difficult circumstances. Gestures like that mean so much to to our residents at the moment."

"We put banners up and all the residents celebrated with Alice too. Alice is a very popular lady who's always smiling and chatting. She also loves to dance.

"Ken's a bit of a character too and very popular with the staff here. He's a very kind man."

Ken witnessed five nuclear tests on Christmas Island in 1958. He's suffered serious health problems and has been campaigning for many years for more recognition and compensation for former servicemen.