Saturday, June 11, 2011

June 10, 1961

Fifty years ago today, she was being tenderly ensconced in Chantilly lace and ivory satin and she eased her feet into shoes made for the occasion but which were slightly small ... fifty years ago today he dressed in a crisp white shirt and a tie, his shoes polished and his hair brushed until it was immaculate.

Fifty years ago he waited for her at the altar at the Victoria Gardens Church in Bombay. Their Certificate of Marriage registers his "Condition" as a Bachelor and his "Rank or Profession" as "Minister of the Gospel"; her spots are filled in with "Spinster" and "Nil".

They exchanged vows, following the official order of service sent out from Canada to which was attached their Canadian Marriage Certificate.

They exchanged rings, gold bands with diamonds inset and each inscribed with the words "Striving Together." The jeweler had been quite perturbed when they asked for that inscription in their wedding bands; he was sure it was an invitation to anger and unrest and strife in the marriage.

The Church was packed - many non Christians had come specifically because they had heard that at Christian weddings the bride and groom would kiss! They were doomed to disappointment at this wedding ...

About 400 had been invited to the reception; numbers vary as to how many came but it was estimated to be at around 1000 ... 

"It was a wonderful day," reported the groom, 50 years later.

We had gathered at the TH to mark this special occasion. Eleven of us sat down to a perfect feast of clear beef broth and buttercrust rolls; crown roast with stuffing and garnished with baby vine tomatoes and cocktail sausages, roast potatoes, cauliflower and cheese sauce, julienned carrots, corn on the cob and a delightfully fresh lettuce and mango salad.

Place setting with the soup served.
The soup plate and china are over 150 years old!

Covered dish we used for the gravy.
Dad spent over four hours washing
the dishes and polishing the silver
for this evening's meal
After the main course we had a break and Dad was presented with a book of memories, stories that we his children and grandchildren had sent in to Cath who then compiled them and laid them out and handed them off to Bronwyn who printed and bound them. Dad was thrilled with this book, asking us to write more and add to it ...

While we were looking at the book we had coffee or tea (Tiger Hill, from the Nilgiris, of course!). And finally, when books were put away for the moment and everyone who had wanted some was sipping on either tea or coffee, we brought out the cake. 

Dad's chiffon cakes were always one of Mum's favourite desserts. Today in her honour Dad had made an orange chiffon cake and we garnished it with whipped cream and ruby red strawberries - no icing for Mum on a day like this!

As we ate our dessert we peppered Dad with questions about their wedding, their honeymoon (six weeks? Seriously, Dad?!), their life together.

What a wonderful life it was!

And now, 50 years later, she waits for him ...

Not long ago a friend remarked, "They had more than a marriage; they had a love affair."

Happy 50th anniversary, M&D! We love you so much and look forward to the day when you - and we - can be reunited for good. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo


  1. The place setting is beautiful! The memories even more so.
    That "friend" was so right about your parents - they truly had something extraordinary!

  2. Beautiful! "Beauty will save the world."

  3. So lovely. Someday I will get to hang out with your family & that day will be so special.

  4. Beautiful tribute, Karyn!

  5. Your blog was lovely. It was a beautiful tribute to your parents.

  6. The host, who was honouring his bride and their life together, greeted us at the door. It was a wonderful, glowing night! She was not beside him, but he gathered us in to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of their wedding with the radiant joy and love it deserved. Stories, laughter, smiles, a few tears - these made up the journey to 50, and so were included in the evening. Abiding thankfulness and wonder filled the air. Thank you, Dad, for honouring this precious day and the love you shared with Mum all those years. Your love is more than a memory; it lights up the ages!


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