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High school sweethearts mark diamond anniversary

Jack and Joy Campbell recently celebrated their 60th anniversary.

On a quiet winter weekend 60 years ago, Jack and Joy Campbell made the short trip across the border to Blaine and exchanged vows.

The city didn’t require Joy, who was 17 at the time, to have parental consent to wed, and the modest arrangement was ideal for a young couple without the financial means to throw a wedding.

Six decades later, the high school sweethearts still refuse to make a fuss over themselves, shying away from attention that inevitably comes with a diamond anniversary.

The Campbells marked the milestone Feb. 24, following a family dinner at their daughter’s house in White Rock, where the couple met and lived most their lives. Jack moved to the city from Vancouver with his family in 1941 and attended Semiahmoo Secondary, where he met Joy.

Having been born in Colombia, Joy moved with her family to Mexico City, Victoria and Chilliwack before settling on the Peninsula.

The White Rock Elementary alumnus was 15 when she started dating Jack – who is a few years her senior – and the two were often seen together at the local dance hall, then located on Keil Street.

A little more than a year after marrying, the couple welcomed daughter Terry into the world. Their second child, Tracey, was born 10 years later.

The Campbells built six houses in White Rock, and had many ties to the community.

Jack – who took over Campbell’s Flooring from his father – was the head coach for the White Rock swim team in the early ‘50s, the city’s first lifeguard off the pier and a past master of the local masonic lodge. Joy worked in various retail stores in the area before starting a 16-year career with Canada Post.

After retiring in the early ’90s, the couple moved out of White Rock and into a house they had bought seven years earlier in Cultas Lake.

Jack, 82, and Joy, 77, now have five grandchildren and a nine-year-old pomeranian-cairn terrier cross, Scruffy.

They continue to busy themselves with household projects, as well as various activities, from waterskiing – which Jack attempted, somewhat unsuccessfully, last year – to travelling. The two regularly head down to Mexico, and are planning yet another trip for the near future.

Daughter Terry Haight said her parents “do very well with their ages.”

“They still travel, and they don’t depend on us for a thing,” she said.

Joy said it’s important to them to be active and lead healthy lives.

“I don’t want any of this nursing home stuff and neither does Jack, so we keep moving and try to dodge the bullet if we can.”

If they have any advice to pass on, Joy said it’s to appreciate each day.

“Be glad you’re getting up every morning you get up.”