Thursday, 13th June, 2019
By Emily McInerney
Sandra and Barry Ellis are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary today; which is extra special because their wedding was the first in the new Railwaytown Church.
The couple were wed on June 13 at the church, which has been turned into a private residence, on the corner of Nicholls and Cornish Street.
The wedding was the first for the church as it had been recently built.
The Barrier Miner, on June 25, 1959, printed a story about the milestone and the wedding.
“The new Nicholls Street Methodist Church was the location of the marriage of Sandra Lois, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs A.H. Pritchard, and Douglas Barry, youngest son of Mr and Mrs V. Ellis,” the article said.
“Rev Peter Hookings officiated at the service, which took place at 4pm on Saturday, June 13.
“The bride was given away by her father. The double ring ceremony was the first wedding to take place in the new church.”
The Miner wrote that the bride’s gown was of satin brocade and tulle.
A feature was the wide sweetheart neckline; on the fitted bodice the long sleeves which peaked over the hands had a pleated nylon frill.
The front skirt fell gracefully from un-pressed inverted pleats, the back of the bodice was extended a little to allow a panel of tulle frills to flow into a billowing train.
Her tulle veil was mounted on a satin head-dress and to complete her ensemble the bride carried a bouquet of tuber-roses and carnations.
When the BDT met with the happy couple yesterday, they said they both attended churches at Railwaytown.
“I always went to a Railwaytown church,” Sandra said.
“Barry used to go to the Mica Street Methodist Church (in Mercury Street) and they were amalgamated.”
Barry said the new Nicholls Street church was very modern.
“It was a beautiful church, it was way out of its time.”
The bride was attended by her friend Miss Yvonne Swalwell and the bridegroom’s niece Leonie Ellis was flower girl.
They wore identical frocks of green hail spotted nylon designed with high boat necklines and peaked at the back which was met by a wide bow with tails which fell the full length of the dresses.
Both maids wore a halo of pink and white flowers held with a green bow and they carried a bouquet of matching colours.
Mr Colin Ellis attended his brother as the best man.
The church was decorated with pink chrysanthemums and red berries.
About 40 guests attended the reception held at the home of the bride’s grandparents.
The couple left on a three-week honeymoon to Sydney, Newcastle and Katoomba.
On their return they made their home at Newton Street in Railwaytown.
The pair met after going to the movies one night.
“Sandra lived in Railwaytown and I was in Railwaytown - it was just one of those things,” Barry said.
“We were coming home from the movies and we were on the same bus.
“Then, I couldn’t get rid of him,” Sandra added.
Barry said the pair waited seven years before getting married.
“They said it wouldn’t last,” he said.
Over their marriage, they have had three children; Michelle, Tracey (deceased) and Allison.
“We have six grandchildren, four great grandchildren and one on the way,” Barry said.
The pair built their house and have lived in it ever since.
“We started building this house three years before we were married,” Barry said.
“I was doing compulsory National Service around that time.
“I also finished tech, where I was studying shorthand and typing then accountancy.
“I would finish tech at 9pm and then we would ride out bikes out here and work by torchlight.”
Sandra worked at Wicks Jewellers, which was located near the current Telstra shop.
“In winter they used to have these beautiful uniforms that looked like band jackets,” Barry said.
“They were scarlet red with gold trim, they were very eye catching.
“I was lucky to keep her.
“John Wicks was noted for having his staff that were always good looking.
“Sandra was very beautiful and I’m not just saying that.”
After they were married, Sandra finished work. She was a member of the Aloomba Arts and Crafts.
Barry was very involved in sport and played cricket for West, baseball, tennis, golf and lawn bowls.
He is also a self-confessed car aficionado and you can often see his cars around town.
The secret to a long-lasting marriage is patience.
“Sandra has got a lot of patience to put up with me,” Barry said.
“I think you also need general compatability.
“We were lucky to have three good kids, who blessed us with grandchildren and great grandchildren.
“They are our joys at the moment.”