Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Wedding-Day Challenges

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Wedding-Day Challenges

Article excerpt

SWANNELL

PETER SWANNELL

MY ONLY wife and I just celebrated our 55th wedding anniversary. That's one hell of a lot of anniversaries!

I certainly cannot remember all of them. I do remember that I didn't remember the anniversary in March 1971. It was later that year we came to Australia.

At that time, I was working near London for a magnificent consulting engineering company, WS Atkins and Partners, when I looked at my watch and noticed what the date happened to be... our wedding anniversary! I very hastily rang my wife to apologise for not kissing her on the way to work.

"Do you know what the date is?" I asked.

"Yes," she replied, surprisingly calmly.

"And do you know what day it is?" I asked nervously.

"Yes," she said, still calmly. I risked; "And do you realise it is our wedding anniversary?"

"Oh, blimey," she exclaimed, "I had completely forgotten!"

My sigh of relief could be heard by every engineer in the office, whether single or married!

We took ourselves out to dinner that evening and had a good laugh at our mutual lack of historical awareness...

Our wedding day itself had some challenges.

March 23rd was the chosen date and the nearby very spikey High Anglican Church in Stockton on Tees was the venue.

My wife-to-be and I were fringe dwellers in that group of worthy worshippers. We were easily persuaded as to the suitability of the venue by my mother-in-law-to-be. She was a general dog's-body at that church and its choice as a suitable venue was not a matter for debate.

The fact that the church neighboured on the town's gas-works somewhat marred its physical appeal. The church's passion for incense was a God-send and partially offset the ever-present smell of leaking coal gas.

My brother was my best man. He was pretty shat-off at having to miss an important cup-tie in order to fulfil his duties in that capacity! …

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