Excatly one hundred years ago today, on the 31st day of July 1920, my great, great Aunt Edith Emily Pockett married the love of her life Tom Oliver Money at St Clements in Fulham. They would have stood at the alter, and solemnly declared their vows, before Tom would have placed a wedding ring on Edith’s finger.
The reason why this is a special anniversary is because when I married Chief just over 30 years ago, he slid the very same ring onto my finger. By pure coincidence, just a couple of weeks ago I was sifting through our wedding album and box of mementoes when I came across a ceremony acknowledgement card which was given to me at the time or our marriage. It was then, that I realised the one hundreth anniversary of the nuptials was just a couple of weeks away.
The acknowledgement card depicts some bible stories together with proverbs and some good marriage pointers such as ‘Husbands love your wives’ and ‘This is a great mystery’. There is also something a bit disturbing – ‘Ye Wives be in subjection to your own husbands’. (I do however like the use of the word ‘own’, just incase the bride forgets or wanders off!)
I’ve had to do some homework on the biblical pictures on the card; One of which depicts the Marriage at Cana; the transformation of water into wine. Jesus’s first miracle in the Gospel of John. Jesus, his mother and his disciples were invited to a wedding, The wine runs out (somone was stingy with the allocation per head) so Jesus turns the water into wine – my kind of wedding!
There’s also a picture of Rebecca and Eliezer but my favourite is Jacob asks for Rachel; boy falls in love with his cousin’s daughter and agrees to work as a shepherd for SEVEN YEARS before he can marry the love of his life. On the day of the wedding, Rachel’s older sister is substituted for her at the alter (by said cousin) and Jacob did not notice because she was veiled. Then it gets complicated because the cousin said that it was only fair that the older sister should be wed first, but it doesn’t matter because he permitted Jacob to marry both of them; BUT another condition that he works another seven years as payment for her. Then there’s infertility and surrogacy followed by handmaids being ‘offered’. In fact a whole Netflix series if it hasn’t already been done.
Underneath the details of the ceremony, is a paragraph,
A Word to the Newly Married,
and I quote:
Let the Husband
1) Be patient and considerate to his wife. (Yes!)
2) Let him not leave her with all the work to do. (of course!)
3) Let him cheer her up when he sees that she is getting disheartened. (nice one!)
Let the wife remember that her first duties are at home. (Mmm!)
1)To submit to her Husband (I don’t think so!)
2) To make his home cheerful and happy (his home!)
3) To make him after God, the first in her thoughts. (Sweet!)
You can see that a lot has changed in one hundred years, and yet has it?
I also dug out the certificate of valuation for the ring; 22ct, yellow gold ‘heavy D’ shaped, 4mm wide. It was hallmarked in Birmingham, GB in 1919. On the date of valuation in March 1989, it was valued at just 215.00 GBP and I guess this changes with the ever changing value of gold.
It doesn’t matter to me, it is cherished and a special reminder of love and family bond. Auntie Edie lived to a ripe old age and I have fond memories of her from my childhood. With age comes wisdom and the regret that I didn’t spend more time chatting with her about her life; Chief would say that I’d be an expert at that now.