A couple from Hemel Hempstead who have just celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary at jLiving’s Maitland Joseph House are preparing for another landmark occasion next month.
Rochelle and Victor Gatta, who married in 1942, will celebrate Victor’s 100th birthday in February, and were this week happy to explain the secrets to a long life and happy marriage.
“I let her be the boss,” said Victor, who is hard of hearing but who denies being selectively deaf. “I do what she says… mostly,” while Rochelle said: “You have to give and take. Always try to see each other’s point of view. Even if they’re wrong.”
The couple met working for an Italian bank in London in 1938, and married on 17 January 1942 at Willesden Green Registry Office. “We had to wait until I was 21 to marry,” recalls Rochelle, now 95.
“My family weren’t keen because Victor wasn’t Jewish, so we got married in secret. My mother could see our love, but my father was very upset. But later he and Victor became the best of friends.”
Rochelle and Victor, who have two daughters and several grandchildren, moved into Maitland Joseph House in 1999, where they were branded the “perfect couple”. “They’re very kind and considerate, and think of each other all of the time,” said jLiving’s Sandra Pynaert.