Diamond Wedding Anniversary – Don and Marion Ireland

Don & Marion - Diamond Wedding Aniversary

Don and Marion met at Sydney Teachers’ College in 1958. Don was living in a boarding house, a long way from home. Marion lived at home but her daily commute to and from College took over four hours - walk, bus, train, walk. Managing their monthly scholarship allowances was a challenge. Marion continued her Saturday morning job working as a salesgirl in a department store.

Don’s first teaching appointment was Wilcannia in 1959 and Marion’s was Castle Hill in 1960. In 1962 Don transferred to Sydney and he and Marion were married on August 25 that year. There was snow on the Blue Mountains that day. A guard of honour made up of excited young school children awaited them when they emerged from the church.

Don and Marion lived in a tiny flat where there ‘was no room to swing a cat’ until they moved into their first brand new home in 1964, a modest red brick and tile three bedroom home in the outer suburbs of Sydney. In the years after losing their first born with a congenital heart condition, Don and Marion were blessed with three normal, healthy wonderful children – Rowan, Tim and Fiona who are still a source of great pride to them.

In 1980, Don and Marion took long service leave and travelled with their children through Britain and Europe in a large campervan for six months. Famous museums and art galleries, zoos, castles and cathedrals, the Edinburgh Tattoo, Braemar Highland Games, Legoland, a boat trip on the Rhine and a gondola ride in Venice were some of the highlights. They attended a church service in the Scottish church where Marion’s maternal great grandparents were married before emigrating to Australia in 1853.

Fiona was too young to remember a lot of that trip but the campervan was her home. A six week stopover on the way home enabled them to enjoy places like Walt Disney World, a Space Museum in Alabama, the Smithsonian Institute, the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls.

After moving to a larger home in North Rocks in 1982 they continued to teach in various Sydney schools over many years. They both had a rewarding career and enjoyed working with children.

Eight wonderful grandchildren aged from thirty three to thirteen and a great granddaughter aged seven are another source of great pride. Three of their grandchildren grew up in England so Marion and Don went back to the UK to take them on special family holidays from time to time.

In 2013, they moved to the Valley, not too far from their daughter, Fiona, with her husband Steve, and their youngest grandchildren – Belle and Bridgette Assender. Don and Marion soon became part of this community and made friends, including those at the Latrobe Philatelic Society where Don is an active member, and at the Co-Operating Community Church in Churchill. After sixty years of marriage, would they do it all again if they could? You bet they would!