After the last waltz of the evening, he plucked up the courage to give her a peck on the cheek – but was left smarting after she gave him a smack.
‘She told me not to kiss her in front of her commanding officer,’ remembered Joe (83) with a smile.
But Joyce (86) gave him another chance and today the couple, who have lived in the Island for nearly 40 years, celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary.
Although it has been 60 years since they married, in St Mary Magdalene Church in East Ham, London, they can remember it vividly. Everyone was still on post-war rations but the couple called in help from family and friends to make their big day one to remember.
‘All the family gave me their ration coupons for material so I could have my dress made,’ remembered Joyce. ‘I told the dressmaker what I wanted and she did it.’
And to celebrate 60 years since that special day, they will have lunch at The Inn this afternoon with their children, Debbie (57) and Ian (50) and grandchildren Alex (24), Gracie (4) and Sophie (18 months).
To mark the occasion, Joe will don the suit he wore on his wedding day. ‘I still have both the suit and the tie, which I’m going to wear if I can get into it,’ he said.
The couple left the fast pace of London life behind them in 1972 and moved to Jersey. Known as ‘Jersey Joe’, he was a mover and shaker on the boxing scene and reported on matches for the JEP.
Back in the UK, he had owned a successful estate agency, WJ Meade and Co, which managed property portfolios for the likes of Halifax Building Society. The company grew to quite a size and its banners were erected around the pitch of West Ham Football Club.
Although Joe and Joyce moved to Jersey to retire, they bought and ran Bay Car Hire in St Brelade for a few years before they settled for a quieter life.
‘The years just roll by,’ said Joyce. ‘You don’t think about how long you’ve been married until someone reminds you. We have been very happy together. Sixty years of marriage is quite an achievement these days.’