To Mum and Dad on your Golden Wedding Anniversary
Often as kids we'd ask, "How'd ya meet her,
guarded so closely by Addy and Peter?"
and he'd tell us, "One day, there she was in the buggy,
and my heart went thump, thump,
and my legs went all gluggy,
and I made up my mind, right there and then,
that somehow I'd see her again and again."
And Charlie, her brother, would be happy to add,
that after due courtship -
our Jim got his Glad!
They set up their home in the old railway house,*
where Gladdy soon proved she had plenty of nous
by serving up every known cake, bun and bicky
to all the old ladies who came for a sticky.+
She proved she could keep a good house with the best.
She worked like a Trojan with no time for rest,
and made them all happily gurgle and coo
by producing four infants -
two pink and two blue.
Now all this time Jim was mincing and pickling,
(Though he must have knocked off
for a wee bit of tickling!),
and it soon became clear that the family was growing
faster than business, so time to be going.
Back in the forties they hit Mortlake town,
and here more has happened than I could write down.
The joys and the sorrows, the laughter and tears
that have bound them together through all the long years.
The trouble they had with those two teenage lads
who carted off dunnies and other mad fads,
wreaked havoc in Crossley - were asked not to stay,
and blocked up the doorway on poor "Donkey" Bray.
The daughters were different - were much more refined.
They just washed the dishes and developed the mind.
Over the years on the musical scene
there was Mother Machree and
I'll take you home Kathleen,
Macushla, Smilin' Through, The Veteran's Song,
Danny Boy, The Old Refrain and a list a mile long.
Those nights when the old hall with loud applause rang,
and we all sat and listened while Glad and Jim sang.
(It has been suggested that in singing a song
lies the secret that's kept them together so long.)
Rivers have played a large part in their life.
Glad knows all about being a fisherman's wife.
She knows about scaling and gutting and worry
while he's dangling a line in the Wannon or Surrey,
the Glenelg or the Hopkins, or any old creek,
and she knows what it's like at the end of the week
when he brings home the fish and the dirty old gear.
But she's used to it now - it's her fiftieth year!
I mustn't forget, as the mem'ries unfold,
that kid who came later, when we were quite old.
He kept the folks young with his antics - the brat!
At his age we were never allowed to do that!
In conclusion Mum and Dad -
Few of us got to the Commonwealth Games.
Olympics would hardly be one of our aims.
But we know about love that never grows old
as tonight we gather to celebrate GOLD.
(c)Beryl O'Gorman 1984
Revised by Wordweavers 2000
*Merino Victoria Australia
+In the thirties (in Merino anyway) new country wives had to prove themselves by inviting all the ladies to afternoon tea and providing as great a variety of home-made goodies as possible. Anything bought would see them blacklisted.