The great Hollywood love stories usually start with a fleeting glance, a brushing of hands.

But for a St Albans couple about to celebrate a 60th wedding anniversary, it started with chewing gum.

At 18 years of age, John Borg hopped on to a boat from Malta by himself and headed to Australia to start a new life.

A few years later, Dolly, then 15, made the same trek with her family.

The two kept links to their Maltese heritage and took part in traditional concerts and acting classes – and that was how Dolly, then 18, met John.

“We’d go to rehearsals twice a week,” she said. “He was there, I was single, he was single and these things happen. I was eating chewing gum, he asked for some, I said, ‘Yes’. And with the chewing gum, I caught him.”

The gum may now be long gone, but the two have been stuck to each other’s sides for more than six decades. They had a six-month engagement and were married on August 8, 1959.

In the coming decades, they welcomed many additions to their family – six children, 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

John admits that makes for a lot of occasions to keep track of.

“There’s lots of birthdays, there’s Christmas, Easter, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day. There’s something every day,” he said. “But everyone is happy and that’s the main thing.”

As for the secret to their long marriage, Dolly says a mutual love of fishing and each other’s company is all they’ve needed.

“We love to fish together – that’s something we enjoy doing in warmer weather,” she said.

“We help each other, we have fights, we have good times and bad times – that’s life.”