“The Milkman’s best customers in the Murrayville area of the Fraser Valley are the English triplets, from left, Judy, Joanne and Jeannette, who can empty these gallong-and-a-half bottles in two days. Girls will be three years old July 19.” (Langley Advance clipping)

Langley triplets born in 1960 still part of this community

The English triplets, as there were known around Langley, just celebrated a birthday

Judy Hazelwood, Joanne Rockson, and Jeannette English Gray continue to share their lives as they have for the past 57 years in the community that helped raise them.

On July 19 of this year, they marked their 57th birthdays together with loved ones.

The three Langley women grew up being known as the English triplets, the three identical daughters of Hugh and Sharron English who now reside in Salmon Arm.

Langley essentially adopted the family when the triplets were born in 1960.

“Our father was unemployed at the time,” said Jeannette English Gray. “The people in the town of Langley rallied around our parents, finding our father a job and providing a lot of well needed gifts, diapers, formula, etc. Our grandparents on both sides, were a huge help to our parents, doing rotating shifts – feeding, diapers, naps, etc.”

Multiple births didn’t run in the family. Their dad’s mom had a fraternal twin, not identical like the triplets.

The girls started with an advantage – young parents who had the energy to take on such a momentous task.

“Our mother carried us to full term. Our weights were Jeannette, 5 lbs. 13 oz.; Joanne, 6 lbs. 11 oz.; and Judy, 6 lbs. 2 oz.,” Jeannette explained. “Our older sister, Cheryl, was 18 months old when we were born. Our parents had four children and they were only 21 years old.”

Jeannette was the first born of the triplets, then came Joanne and finally Judy, all five minutes apart.

“Growing up we were inseparable,” explained Joanne. “We did everything together. When we were toddlers, the three of us shared a small room. We each had our own crib. At night we would rock our cribs till they were together, then we would go to sleep. I would describe growing up as a triplet as having your best friends with you all the time. And we still are.”

In addition to older sister Cheryl, the triplets had a younger sister, Cindy, and a brother, Tim.

Since their births in 1960, the trio have shared the pages of the Langley Advance.

As the girls grew older, they each made their own lives.

In 2011, Jeannette married Bill Gray. Their two daughters Brooke and Erin, have given them three grandchildren – Claire, Jack and Evelyn.

Joanne celebrates 36 years of marriage to Sam Rockson this October. They had two sons, Travis and Cody, and now have one grandson, Lane.

Judy married Greg Hazelwood 30 years ago. In addition to their two children (Tyler and Kyla), they have Elizabeth, a granddaughter.

“Joanne summed it up nicely,” Jeannette said. “We are the best of friends and are never every really out of contact with each other.”

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Judy Hazelwood, Jeannette English Gray and Joanne Rockson recently celebrated their 57th birthdays.

“First Christmas tree brings wide-eyed wonderment to triplets belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Hugh English. They were born last July 19. Sitting under the tree are Jeannette, Joanne and Judy.” (Langley Advance clipping)

Sharron and Hugh English allowed the Langley Advance to share their big news with the community. On July 19, 1960, they became the parents of triplets.

Throughout the years the Langley Advance chronicled their growing up through pictures. The girls, Judy, Jeannette and Joanne, along with their older sister, Cheryl, with Granny English (Mary English), and Granny Milligan (Norah Milligan) were photographed at the newspaper office when it was on Fraser Highway.

“Langley Triplets, Jeannette, Joanne and Judy English celebrated their first birthday Wednesday. Jeannette (left) couldn’t wait to get into her birthday cake and she seems to have pretty well ruined it with one swipe.” (Langley Advance clipping from 1961.)

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