Queen Elizabeth may be celebrating the diamond anniversary of her reign this year but my family celebrated something of equal importance to us last week, my parents’ diamond wedding anniversary. On Saturday we had their party and it was a real family affair.
We children were at the Fort Garry Mennonite Fellowship Church at 10 in the morning getting things decorated and set up. Here’s my brother Mark showing off his muscles lifting chairs. We also spent time rehearsing things for the program and getting the microphones working.
We were very fortunate that my cousin Kirsten Godbout, who is the Manager of Food Operations at the University of Winnipeg had agreed to cater the meal for us. This meant we didn’t have to worry about any of the food preparation. Here Kirsten chats with our Uncle Art before the celebration begins.
Kirsten had also arranged for members of our extended Peters family to do all the serving which was such a meaningful touch and made the whole event a real family affair. Standing just outside the kitchen is my cousin Lynn, who was visiting from British Columbia, and Kirsten’s three beautiful daughters Gabby, Sydney and Kassia.
Here is my sister Kaaren with our cousin Roy Henry who was also one of the servers for the evening. Kaaren had gone shopping for my Mom’s dress and found matching shoes and a purse. She went over to my parents’ house to help my Mom get dressed. Kaaren had also ordered the flower arrangements patterned after the ones at my parents’ wedding in 1952. Because of her health Mom doesn’t get to go shopping very often and thanks to my sister she felt very special in her nice outfit.
The evening started informally giving people time to greet my parents and each other. Here is my Dad looking very handsome in his suit and gardenia boutonniere with his cousin Marie.
This is my sister-in-law Kathy with her parents and her daughter, my niece Amanda. It was Kathy’s idea that we have a seating plan for the evening and that worked out very nicely, since everyone was seated with someone they knew and felt comfortable with.
My brother Mark was the master of ceremonies. He did a great job of introducing the various parts of the program and keeping us entertained.
I had written a readers theatre piece that told the story of my parents’ lives and we four children performed it in four parts during the evening. My nephew Dylan handled the technology side of things projecting the power point slides with family photos that went together with the presentation. I also had a prayer and a short meditation based on Deuteronomy 8:2 –Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you.
Here is my mother with her grandson Mark and his fiancée Samantha. Each of the grandchildren gave a special tribute to their Grandma and Grandpa during the celebration.
My husband Dave ably led the singing of the hymns Now Thank We All Our God and Be Thou My Vision.
My sister Kaaren had also arranged for the elegantly decorated cake. Mom and Dad posed for an official cake cutting before the dessert was served to the guests.
Many of the people in attendance were from the Grace Church family in Steinbach. My parents attended that church for 50 years. Here Dad chats with the Grace pastor Mel Letkeman.
My parents family has expanded over the years as they sponsored four refugee families to come to Canada from Sierra Leone, Bosnia and Cambodia. Here is Dad with Sy Koeuth, who was part of the family from Cambodia my parents brought to Canada in 1985.
My Aunt Louise, my father’s younger sister gave a speech about her brother and his wife. My father has five sisters and four of them were able to be present for the celebration.
My mother’s older sister Viola had traveled from Saskatoon to participate in the festivities. She also presented a tribute to Mom and Dad.
My Dad ended the formal part of the evening with a speech thanking everyone for coming to celebrate with them.
Later there was time for more visiting. Dad had an animated discussion with two old friends Art and George.
My brother Ken and his partner Harvey shown here visiting with guests had arranged for a decorated canvas on which people wrote special messages of congratulation and memory for Mom and Dad. It will be a great souvenir of their anniversary party.
Of course after the celebration everything had to be cleaned up and my dear husband Dave and my helpful brother-in-law Ken did most of that while the rest of us visited.
60 years is a long time, no wonder when couples reach that milestone it is called a Diamond Anniversary. I’m reminded of the James Bond movie Diamonds are Forever. My parents’ marriage is a journey they have walked together with faith, with hope and with a positive attitude.
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