Barry loves Doreen
Wednesday, 13th March, 2019
By Emily Ferguson
Sixty-five years of marriage is quite the achievement, and Barry and Doreen Gresham will be celebrating just that today.
They met in what they described as a “shipboard romance” when they were sailing from Australia to England. After the journey, Barry said he felt as though he’d left something behind.
“So I wrote a letter to Doreen and asked her if I sent her the money would she come and marry me,” he said.
“Her mother said she’d pay me the money if I changed my mind.”
Barry and Doreen were married on March 13, 1954, at a Presbyterian Church in London, England.
Barry has Canadian citizenship and all three of their children - Ken, Bruce and Heather - were born and raised in Canada where they still reside. Barry said they have been to Australia several times but they prefer the seasonable weather.
“They’re all very grown now, but we’re so proud of them,” he said.
The couple made a deal where the kids were concerned, that they would always support one another.
“The children didn’t like it if they asked me for something, I’d say ‘have you already asked your Mum?’ and they’d say ‘yes’, so I’d say ‘what are you asking me for then?”.
Barry said the couple loved kids and although their children were all married they weren’t blessed with any grandchildren.
“When we come across people with plural grandchildren we always consider kidnapping,” he joked.
Despite their love, the couple have differing opinions when it comes to the ideal climate.
“Being Australian she never forgave me for introducing her to the Canadian winters, so as payback she introduced me to the Australian summers,” said Barry. “We’ve had more summers than winters though, so she owes me.”
He said the reason they had been together for so long was that he always has the last word - “Even if it is only ‘yes dear’.”
Doreen said it was also because they always worked out their arguments.
“You’re not supposed to go to bed mad or angry, you’ve got to resolve the issue before you go to bed,” she said.
“We’ve just had a compatible life, there have been ups and downs but you just have to take each day and each person as they come.”
Barry said some marry for love, some for money and some for sympathy.
“Doreen married for sympathy and she has everybody’s,” he laughed.
Barry and Doreen plan to celebrate their anniversary with a quiet meal at St Anne’s and call all their children.