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23 Jan 2024
updated 23 Jan 2024

The Golden Wedding

This was a great event; the Golden Wedding of my mother's parents, Lieut.Colonel William James Stairs and Susanna Duffus Stairs, and the whole family collected at Halifax [Nova Scotia] for the celebrations. It was 1895 and we were then at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and it was a large party of us who sailed the Atlantic in the Furness Line one-class ship, City of St. John. There were Father and Mother, six of us children and our nurse Leily. The voyage took 13 days; all paid for by grandfather, £10 for grown-ups and £5 for children. The three eldest boys who were at school and missed the trip, were compensated by being invited out the following year during their summer holidays.

Arrived in Halifax, we all stayed with grandfather and grandmother at their house in South Street. The principal bedroom, I remember, was very large with a huge wardrobe, itself the size of a small room into which one could walk.

One memory of the great day is the gathering of yellow flowers, mostly buttercups, for the adornment of the party that afternoon; and another very clear memory is of a large table covered with solid gold presents, quantities of them.