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Some may call her ‘Granny Annie’, but a septuagenarian Lanzarote charity worker has found new love after two decades of widowhood - with a man 11 years her senior!
Ann Squire, from Güime, stunned family and friends on announcing a sudden engagement to 83-year-old retired Scottish traffic cop Ian Cameron, whom she had only just met. Then without further ado, the starry-eyed couple with a staggering combined age of 155 and a massive offspring tally of six children and 17 grandchildren, jetted back to the UK to make arrangements to tie the knot in Middlesex on FA Cup Final day, Saturday, May 17.
- Ann, 72, who originates from North Devon and is best known here for running her Second Hand Rose charity shop, said Ian’s proposal caught her well and truly by surprise. “It was about 8am and I was still in my nighty when I answered the phone to Ian, who said he thought it was right we should get married. He told me he wasn’t going to continue the day until he had popped the question and I said ‘yes’ straight away,” she said.
Yet, poet Ann, who has lived on the island for 10 years, felt neither of them had acted impulsively. “Some time ago, a friend told me about a man here who also wrote poetry and each time I saw her she always asked if I’d met him and I always said ‘no’. That was until one day quite recently when I was welcoming people into my church as usual and this man arrived. I knew it was him because he kept reading me his poems. It was an extraordinary way to get to know someone; yet after a couple of weeks we just knew we were right for each other.”
It was even more bizarre when Ann flew to Glasgow late March to join widowed Ian as, although she has a lifetime’s travel behind her, she’d only ever visited Scotland once - and that was nowhere near his neck of the woods! Her fiancé, whose wife died of cancer five years ago, has been visiting Lanzarote for about the same period as she has lived here and is well known in Puerto Calero, where his son-in-law Lindsay Laverty is technical director of Submarine Safaris. Ann added: “I was first introduced to Ian’s daughter Dawn, son-in-law Lindsay and their son Neil, and now we are gradually meeting each other’s family in the UK.”
But it’s unlikely everyone will be crossed off the list by the time of the happy day as Ian also has daughters in Australia and Jersey. But this is no problem for the happy husband and wife to be as they are both seasoned travellers. Since marrying ‘the boy next door’ at the tender age of 21, Ann has had spells in Ascension Island, Malta, Arabia, Sierra Leone, Bahrain, Trinidad, Doha and China as her late husband, David, worked for Cable & Wireless and upon retirement became consultant for the new telephone company in Doha, where they lived for 14 years in two spells. Meanwhile, Ian, who spent wartime in Sri Lanka on a well secreted Y station near Colombo, has also travelled widely since retirement. Delighted Ian said: “Ann is the best present I could have received; I wasn’t even looking for a wife at my age!” Ann reflected: “It´s been a good life as I’ve always wanted to travel and Ian likes to travel as well. It’s good that we can continue that together as it’s much nicer travelling with someone than on your own.” Next on the agenda will be the States for a romantic honeymoon and, just for good measure, to attend the wedding of one of Ian’s granddaughters. During this adventure they should also get to see Ann’s daughter-in-law Louise, who is working in Doha as a fabric conservationist. This will be an emotional time in itself as Louise and husband Phil, together with their children Emma, Laura and William, are all survivors of the Boxing Day 2004 tsunami. In another strange twist, Ian’s son-in-law George Larkins, from Australia, is also periodically working in Doha on building projects, and they plan to meet up with him too.
Meanwhile, Ann’s other son, also called Ian, who heads a charity team of opticians to various worldwide destinations, the latest being Guatemala, is due to give the wedding talk.
Guests are likely to include Ann’s former pastor here Mark Austin, and his wife Julie, who left Lanzarote on April 24. It’s anticipated their six-year-old Canary-born daughter Naomi will be a bridesmaid and that Julie will sing a solo accompanied by Mark on the guitar. And, yes, the groom has promised to wear a kilt - in full Cameron hunting colours! Meantime, whenever the dynamic pensioner duo actually return to Lanzarote, they should spend the winter months here and go back to Scotland during peak summer.
This is to the extra delight of Ann’s friends on the island as she had previously planned to ‘sell-up’ and permanently move back to England.By Ian White