Taking 50 years of marriage in their stride

Barry Stephen Stride and Elizabeth May Stride (nee Provost), September 5, 1970.

Barry Stephen Stride and Elizabeth May Stride (nee Provost), September 5, 1970.

It didn't take long for young Macksville lad Barry Stride to know that Bowraville's Elizabeth Provost was 'the one'.

"We met late February, were engaged late May, married October," Barry recollects.

With a compassionate heart, a winning smile and legs for days, 'Beth' was a real catch.

And he wasn't a bad sort himself, cruising around town in his MG.

Back then Barry was a butcher - one of the sons from Stride and Sons Butchery, and Elizabeth was a nurse at Macksville District Hospital.

The pair wed on Saturday the fifth of September, 1970, at the Anglican Church in Macksville.

They were married by the Reverend John Geoghegan - a friend from the Civil Defence - in front of a congregation of around 60 of their friends and relatives.

Beth's dress was crafted by Mrs Thompson, who also fashioned the bridesmaids' outfits, and Beth walked down the aisle clutching "a spray of orchids".

The three-tiered wedding cake was decorated by Barry's sister, Fay Fowler.

And the wedding party arrived in two golden-roofed white Holdens, although it was Stride senior's yellow V8 Monaro that escorted the newlyweds on their honeymoon.

The loving couple were soon blessed with two children - a boy and a girl - and they raised both Trevor and Wendy to be independent-minded, conscientious, and very decent Nambucca Valley citizens.

"They're both practical people, and they worked very hard," Wendy said.

"They've had a great marriage because they work well together as a team.

They've always remained true to themselves, and they've guided us to be true to ourselves too. They've been awesome parents.

Any marriage - especially one that has lasted for half a century - has surely had its share of hurdles to overcome.

"But their marriage has withstood the test of time because of a solid foundation of genuine love and respect for one another," Trevor said.

"I can only aspire to have the same."

We at the Guardian News wish to congratulate Barry and Elizabeth on a marvellous innings, and hope (as it has been a longstanding topic of contention) this record serves as an official reminder to enjoy their golden anniversary which is indeed next Saturday, September 5, 2020.

Wedded

by Barry Stride

Can you remember your wedding?

Was it long ago? Do you want to remember,

the time, the place, the people?

If you can't remember, I'll bet someone else can.

*****

So much to remember, the flowers

the clothes, the emotions. So much colour

and excitement. The speeches and

handshakes. Even the slaps on your back.

*****

Did the sun shine, did the bride smile?

Mine did, she winked at me as

she came down the aisle, -- cheeky

as hell but what a long walk.

*****

And the ring, have you still got it?

Did the Minister or Priest have

to hold your hand still, to get

it on, did it fit, or does it still?

*****

A kiss at the altar for everyone

to watch. In front of God and

your in-laws. Were your lips dry, did

you bang your chins or maybe your teeth?

*****

Then sign the book, have a smoke

and a nervous laugh. Did you hold

her hand while someone sang.

All praise to us, we've tied the knot.

*****

Wedded and bedded all in one day

such a big change and no way back.

Married, for better or for worse

from this day forward. Ahead for the rest.

*****

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