Golden couples celebrate nearly 1500 years of marriageFriday, September 2, 2011
Twenty seven Tassie couples married for 50 years or more enjoyed a special Golden Wedding Celebration in the reception room at Parliament House Hobart this week.
“It was a marvellous occasion, full of joy, honouring those who have played such an important role in our country,” said MC Jim Collins, Tasmania state officer for FamilyVoice Australia, the Christian advocacy group which organised the event on 31 August. “Celebrating marriage in this way was a powerful reminder of the unique, positive contribution that marriage provides to create a healthy society.
“Our special guests had 1447 years of marriage between them,” Mr Collins said. “Collectively, they have added 415 descendants to our Australian nation!”
Following a prayer from former Tasmanian Anglican Bishop Phillip Newell, the former Tasmanian Governor William Cox gave a speech to the assembled couples.
“Our society has been undergoing enormous changes for several decades,” Mr Cox said. “The ease of divorce and the increase in de facto relationships ... have all tended to devalue marriage. To find so many people who have enjoyed 50 years or more of marriage is very encouraging and an inspiration to others.”
Michael Polley (Speaker in Tasmania’s parliament) added his welcome to these treasured Tasmanians on behalf of the politicians who gathered for the celebration.
Golden couple Noel and May Hart – now in their 65th year of marriage – marked the celebration by cutting a golden wedding cake. “Having someone to walk alongside you through all the years is a wonderful experience,” Noel said. “We’ve learned to put forgiveness at the centre of our marriage and to be tender to one another. And we’ve always enjoyed the support of our Lord.”
The entertainment included a rousing rendition of the popular old British song If you were the only girl in the world led by Ros Langlois, and Massenet’s Meditation, played by violinist Charles Watts. Each golden couple was presented with a certificate to mark their achievement.
“The idea of marriage is sometimes written off as old-fashioned today,” Jim Collins said. “But the lifelong exclusive union of a man and a woman in marriage has stood the test of time. It remains the bedrock and relational foundation that is the key to building a stable future for our country.”
Hobart-based photographer, Stu Harris, captured several images of the celebration, including portraits of some of the golden couples. See his blog entry: http://www.stuharris.com/2010/04/fava-golden-years/. These images are available for purchase – please contact Stu directly.
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