Thursday, September 15, 2016

Remembering the Farm: My Grandparents Hingston 50th Wedding Anniversary

My brother, Stan, found and scanned the Guest Book from my grandparents, Freke and Kathleen Hingston's 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1964.  It brought back a great many memories of times past and people long gone.

My grandparents were married in May of 1914.  My grandfather always joked that the Great War did not break out until August. Fiftieth anniversaries were still a rarity in the early 1960s that they were sincerely celebrated.  Grandma and Grandpa had moved to a seniors lodge in North Battleford a couple of years prior but since they had lived all their life in the Cavell-Landis district, that is where the celebration took place.

A family dinner was held at our home on the farm which had been their home from 1914 to 1945 when they retired into a small house in Cavell.  We got the yard more or less beat into shape and emptied almost all furniture out of the living/dining area to make room for tables and chairs.  Not sure how many were there but they all managed to squeeze in somehow.

After dinner there was a come-and-go tea in the Landis Hall.   My brother noted that whoever was in charge of the guest book did a terrible job of getting people to sign as I am sure 75% of the people who came did not sign.

My grandparents lived to celebrate their 60th anniversary in 1974 which today is not so uncommon but was very special then.  Their health did not allow any major celebration and by that time they had outlived all their friends anyhow. They were well enough to attend Ella's and my wedding in April, though. Grandpa died the following year at age 90, living longer than any of his four brothers, even Uncle John who was the oldest. Grandma died in 1983 at age 95 but the last few years were very unkind to her.

I remember them well - we visited often in the little house in Cavell, then the little house in Landis from 1955 to 1963 and the lodge in North Battleford. They were good people.  Grandpa said when he came to Canada from Ireland in 1906 he had $400 and after farming, preaching and raising four kids over the decades, he still had $400.  Life had cost him nothing.

Colourized wedding picture
 It was a late spring when they got married and there was still snow in early May in central Alberta
Bob Hingston (nephew) and Grandpa and Grandma at the dinner in our home
 Ignore the date on the picture. Film got developed when it got developed at our home.
At the Landis Hall.  Joe Moore (nephew) in L background 

Some of the guests
George Hindley was the minister who married them.  Chartiers were their pastors in North Battleford.  Henry Johnson was my mother's father.  Grandma Johnson had died a couple years earlier.  Tom Moore was Grandma's brother in law.  Auntie Lily had died a few years previously. Eva, Frances, Winnie and William were their four children, with their spouses. The rest of the signatures are cousins

Gift from Bob and Millie Graham
Bob and Millie Graham farmed 1/2 mile from our place.  They were our closest neighbours and friends over the years. This plate is now with my daughter Kylee-Anne.


  1. What great memories! And how right you are that 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries were rare and wondrous occasions back then. Now they're pretty common with longer life expectancy. Your grandfather sounds like he had a super sense of humour -- a real card!

  2. Yes, He was always telling jokes. At his funeral someone remarked that they expected him to sit up in his coffin and "Say, have you heard the latest joke? . . ."

  3. it must really be nice to have a family and roots to remember. You are a fortunate man.
    the Ol'Buzzard

    1. Yes, it is nice to have roots, though not all the memories are good. We all envy someone though. I envy boys who had a good relationship with their father, well enough that they could farm together.

  4. Wow, what great memories! And I love that comment "Life had cost him nothing." Give me a smile. :-)

    1. My grandfather was a great prophet; my grandmother was a total loss. . . or something like that.


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