McLarens celebrate 50th anniversary
Archdeacon Warr stood in for Archdeacon Knox but otherwise things were much the same when the Dick McLarens celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday night.
The best man, Dr McLaren, was there; the bridesmaid, Mrs Halliday, of Kempsey, and the train-bearer, Mrs Pringle, of Ryde. The setting for the reception at the 50th anniversary was the Church of England hall.
Four daughters and one son, and their 13 grandchildren were present. Telegrams and cards came from the NSW Governor and Premier, and numerous friends and relatives.
Dick McLaren and Mary Piggott were married by the Ven. Archdeacon Knox at All Saints Church of England, West Kempsey, on September 5, 1917.
The McLaren family tree extends back to the very early days of Port Macquarie. Mr McLaren has been an oyster farmer on his own account at Port Macquarie, for 59 years, and at 77, is still actively engaged in oyster culture.
He and Mrs McLaren are still living in the home they erected soon after their marriage. Mr McLaren was born on the waterfront off Bay Street. His parents moved to Aston Hill, and later built “Alva” on the corner of Waugh and Park streets, a home still standing.
He left school at 14 to work in the butter factory. After five years at the factory he began oyster farming. In January 1915, he struck up a friendship with Miss Mary Piggott, who was making her first visit to Port Macquarie.
Mrs McLaren has taken a keen interest in community affairs. She was a foundation member of the Church of England Guild, the CWA and hospital auxiliary. She joined Red Cross in Kempsey when the First World War broke out, and has given over 50 years service.
Before the First World War, Mr McLaren sailed as crew on 18-foot skiffs in regattas at Frederickton, Smithtown and Taree, and locally. He also played men’s hockey and football for Port Macquarie.
The bride Miss Penny Keena, daughter of Mr and Mrs A. M. Keena, of west Port Macquarie, wore a beautiful A-line gown of white ribbon lace with a short train falling from below the round neckline, for her marriage on Saturday to Mr Dennis Richardson, of Sydney.
The matron of honour and bride’s attendants - Mrs Clare Messiter, Mrs Nola Marr, Miss Libby Wright, Miss Lindy Heazlewood - were dressed in rose red velvet. Best man was John Marr, groomsmen Duncan Paterson and Chris Richardson, and the page was Daren Reena. The reception was held in the surf club.