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Man, 75, returns to bay where he met ‘sweetheart’ 10 years ago

'She inspires me everyday'

Like Għajn Tuffieħa, where they met, Tom Turner says Marietta Thater is the apple of his eye. Photos: Elisa Lemarchand

Like Għajn Tuffieħa, where they met, Tom Turner says Marietta Thater is the apple of his eye. Photos: Elisa Lemarchand

Tom Turner, 75, likes to say that Għajn Tuffieħa is called as such because that is where he met the apple of his eye 10 years ago, though he thinks it has more to do with geology.

Mr Turner showed up at the offices of the Times of Malta earlier in the week enquiring about the name of the popular bay and asking that the newspaper recount his love story for Valentine’s Day.

Tom TurnerTom Turner

He met Marrietta Thater, 65, at Għajn Tuffieħa when both were holiday in Malta. “I remember walking along the rocks at Għajn Tuffieħa, looking up at a rocky outcrop and seeing her,” said Mr Turner, who lives in Bolton, England, They hit it off right away, even though she lives in Berlin.

Mr Turner, who is a history enthusiast and has been visiting Malta for the past 30 years, makes it a point to visit the place where the two met.

When he realised that Għajn Tuffieħa meant ‘apple’s eye’, Mr Turner asked locals how the bay got its name. “Nobody seemed to know why, but I spent some time exploring the unusual geological features and I wonder whether it is possible I have found the answer,” he said.

After spending some time scouring the area, Mr Turner said he believed that a specific fissure, which moves from ground level upwards, could be the reason that Għajn Tuffieħa was given its name.

Mr Turner’s eyes well up with tears when he speaks about his “sweetheart”, who, he insists, inspires him every day.

After losing his two daughters – Karen and Sarah – in 2016, he said Ms Thater “opened his eyes” and supported him. “She always gives 100 per cent to everything and everyone, and that inspires me daily,” he said.

“She’s beautiful inside and out.”

Ms Thater has three grandchildren – Coby, Bailey and Juni – and Mr Turner has six – Alex, Kate and Rachel, who live in America, and Jennifer, Kathleen and Alicia, resident in Belgium.

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