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Golden couple Pietro and Crocifessa Gueli celebrate 50 years of Sicilian love

Gueli Golden

Gueli Golden

A couple who fell in love in rural Sicily more than half a century ago celebrated 50 years of marriage this weekend.

Pietro and Crocifessa Gueli waited patiently to get married after Mr Gueli left the village of Aragona to emigrate to England in the 1950s.

Mr Gueli, 74, said: “I was 16 and she was 15 when we declared our love for each other.”

Mr Gueli first went to Belgium, then settled in Wakefield, where he worked for a fireplace company before joining his brother Francesco’s ice-cream business.

He said: “In those days a lot of people left Sicily in order to improve their lives. It was a poor country.

“Our love never diminished and eventually we got engaged.”

Mrs Gueli, 73, said: “I was very happy.”

During their engagement they kept in touch by post before Mr Gueli returned to Sicily for the wedding on January 25, 1964.

The couple, of Westways, Wrenthorpe, returned to Wakefield and had five daughters.

Mr Gueli said: “We have five gorgeous daughters and seven grandchildren who are the apples of our eyes.”

Mr Gueli worked up to 15 hours a day for the ice cream business and at Stanley Royd Hospital and the city’s Regional Secure Unit to support the family.

He said: “I didn’t ask anybody for a handout. My pride would not let me do that.”

The couple will celebrate tomorrow with a meal for family and friends.

 

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