Ripley couple celebrates
65th wedding anniversary
By Liz Dadson
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You have to work together to make a marriage work. And that's how Don and Anna MacTavish have stayed together for 65 years.
The Ripley couple celebrated this special anniversary with a family barbecue, last Sunday, at their home on MacLeod Street. They also celebrated Anna's 91st birthday.
Both were born and raised in Huron Township. She was Anna MacDonald whose family lived west of Ripley, while Donald's family lived on the 2nd Concession of Huron Township.
She was teaching at the Clover Valley school and he was working on the family farm when they met and began dating.
"There was a gang of us that hung around together," says Don. "Then she went away to teach near Malton for two years. I would often drive her there and back."
After two years, Don says he thought she should come home and stay home or that was it.
They were engaged in the spring of 1949 and married Sept. 3, 1949, at St. Andrew's United Church, Ripley.
"It was a hot, sunny day," recalls Don. "Everything was at the church, and we had a reception another evening at the old town hall in Ripley (where the Huron-Kinloss Township hall now stands)."
Don and Anna operated a mixed farm on the 2nd Concession, beside his family's home farm.
They built a house on McGill Street in Ripley in 1974 and when her mother became ill two years later, they sold the farm and moved into the house in Ripley where Anna cared for her parents.
Their daughter, Barb, and her husband, Charles Liddle, continued to live on the MacTavish family farm until they moved to a house on the 12th Concession of Huron Township, closer to Lake Huron.
Besides their eldest daughter, Barb, who is deceased, they have two daughters, Jean who is married to Ian MacDonald and lives in Ripley; and Marg who is married to Sandy Pollock and lives east of Ripley.
The MacTavishes have seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren; and in February, 2015, they are looking forward to the arrival of their sixth great-grandchild.
Once they moved to Ripley, Don did carpentry work, while Anna cared for the house and family.
They have been members of the Ripley Agricultural Society since 1946, and Don has shown items at the Ripley Fall Fair every year, except 1976, when he was chairman of the trailer park committee at the International Plowing Match in Walkerton which was held the same time as the fair.
He has shown everything from grains from the farm to vegetables and pickled eggs.
Don was one of the leaders who worked to open the Ripley Curling Rink in 1963.
"Anna and I did a lot of curling until we started going to Florida during the winters," says Don.
He is also a charter member of the Ripley and District Lions Club, and has been a member for 42 years.
Don and Anna are members of St. Andrew's United Church in Ripley. And she enjoys playing bridge, while he likes going for coffee every morning at Ronnie Nicholson's welding shop in Ripley.
They moved to the seniors' apartment on MacLeod Street, Ripley, seven years ago and now enjoy family get-togethers there, especially at Christmas time.
Anna (L) and Don MacTavish of Ripley pose with flowers they received from their family when they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary last week
"Our family is wonderful to us," says Don. "We are well taken care of."
So, how do you stay married for 65 years?
"You have to keep busy," says Don, with a laugh. "But seriously, we've always been together and we had a lot of the same friends."
"There's a lot of give-and-take," says Anna. "We worked together, especially on the farm.
"I used to think making it to our 50th wedding anniversary would be great."
What is their advice to couples getting married now?
"Young people don't try to make it work," says Anna, "and they should really work at it."
"Everybody is going a lot faster these days," adds Don. "We're lucky because we have our family and they treat us very well."
© Liz Dadson
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014