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60 wonderful years

Thursday, 12th September, 2019

Pat and Shirley Ryan with their wedding photos and a story about their marriage in the BDT in 1959.  PICTURE: Emily Ferguson Pat and Shirley Ryan with their wedding photos and a story about their marriage in the BDT in 1959. PICTURE: Emily Ferguson

By Emily Ferguson

Shirley and Pat Ryan were joined in marriage 60 years ago today in 1959 at the All Saints Church in Piper Street. 

They met at the Palais de Danse when Shirley was 18 and Pat 24, and were engaged 18 months later. 

“He wanted to get married after six weeks, he chased me I didn’t chase him,” said Shirley.  

“I was engaged to someone else and Pat told me he’d marry me before then and that was my proposal - no rose petals or chocolates,” Shirley laughed. 

About 350 guests attended their wedding and they had their honeymoon in Melbourne. 

The couple have four children, Rodney, Greg, Gavin and Caroline who gave them eight grandchildren - Chad, Rhys, Mitch, Chelsea, Casey, Dylan, Jazmine and Mason.  They also have four great grandchildren, Aailyah, Chella, Dane and Nevaeh. 

Shirley laughed when she said she loves them but she doesn’t want any more. 

As for marriage, she described it as “plenty of arguments, just everyday living, plenty of ups and downs, like everybody else.” 

Pat said he loved Shirley’s cooking and Shirley was in awe of Pat’s building skills. He was a carpenter by trade and built the family home in which they still live.

Shirley said they loved spending time with their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, who always give them plenty to do and keep them on their toes. 

The couple aren’t having any celebrations for their anniversary, it’s just a quiet family affair.

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