|Birth: ||Feb. 15, 1818|
|Death: ||Aug. 21, 1898|
The Orillia Packet, Friday, August 29, 1884, page 3
It is the lot of but very few married couples to live together long enough to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of their wedding day. This rare privilege was enjoyed on Monday, August 18th, by Mr. and Mrs. Willson, two of the oldest settlers in this place, for they have lived here continuously for more that the term of their married life, Mr. Willson having immigrated here from the land of the stars and stripes in the spring of 1833, and Mrs. Willson had been living here some years previous to that date. They have four sons and four daughters [living to adulthood] all of whom, with the exception of the youngest son, are married and living either in Orillia, or very near it. The celebration of the golden wedding took the form of a pic-nic and family gathering at Couchiching Park. The Enterprise and Carriella conveyed quite a numerous party over to the park and a most enjoyable time was spent. There were a number of pioneer Orillians in the company, amongst whom were several of the brothers and sisters of Mrs. Willson, Mrs. Mercy Moffatt, Mr. and Mrs. Josiah P. Henderson, Mr. and Mrs. G.J. Booth, Mrs. A. King, Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Goffatt and Mrs. Dreyer. The day was very warm and the old folks sought the friendly shelter of the maples, and sitting in a circle on the grass, recounted many interesting reminiscences of the early days of Orillia, whilst the younger members of the party busied themselves preparing an ample and elegant repast in the pavilion. About sixty people sat down to tea, children, grandchildren and friends of the bride and groom. The Rev. John Gray, M.A., graced the head of the table, and was supported on his right by the bride, and groom, and on his left by his Worship, Mayor Booth. The aged couple were the recipients of many handsome and appropriate presents. After tea, the Rev. John Gray, M.A., in a brief but very impressive manner, re-united Mr. and Mrs. Willson in the holy bonds of matrimony. Mr. Gray also delivered a felicitous speech in which he heartily congratulated the guests of the evening upon attaining their fiftieth wedding day. He said they were very happily circumstanced and looked as young as some of their descendants, and with just as good prospects of living for many years. He concluded with an earnest wish that their last days might be their best days, and that their sun might set in peace and beauty and glory. His Worship then read the following address: - "Dear Friends – We, your surviving children, grandchildren, and other relations and friends, desire to convey to you our most hearty greetings and congratulations, on the auspicious occasion of your golden wedding, and to join with you in offering thanks to our Heavenly Father, for extending to you the very rare privilege of enjoying the trials, comforts, and pleasures of wedded life for half a century. In looking back so many years, one thought must have impressed itself upon your minds, engraved thereon by the hard piercing style of experience, viz: The changeful and uncertain nature of all earthly things. This all important truth is enforced by the fact that you are the oldest survivors amoung a very small band of the original white settlers of this place, and that you have seen our beautiful town as an Indian village, as part of a township, as an incorporated village and as a town, each successive period showing progress and prosperity as well as change. The thought thus emphasied is enforced by and procession of old inhabitants, whom, in the course of years, you have seen depart to that ‘undiscovered country from where bourne no traveller returns, and still more impressively by the numerous deaths, as well as by the more pleasing births and marriages that have occurred among your own descendants and relatives, leaving you as you began your married life, alone in your own home. It must at the same time, be a source of pleasure to you, to see so many of your children and grandchildren comfortably settled around you. We conclude with asking you to accept these tokens of our affection and regard, accompanying them with earnest prayer that you may be spared to celebrate your Diamond Wedding, and that you may be blessed to appear before the great White Throne at the last day, surrounded by all your descendants and connections, as the redeemed friends of the Lord Jesus Christ." The Mayor gave a short speech after he had read the address. He had known the bride and groom for about 46 years, and as an old friend he wished them much joy. He was an advocate of early marriages, and would say to the young people, do as Mr. and Mrs. Willson did, marry for love and then work for wealth. The trouble with too many young people in the present day is, that they want to begin life just where his old friends and himself are finishing it. The health of the bride and groom was drunk with all the honours, and the party separated, all expressing themselves as having spent a most enjoyable time.
Leonard Willson (1813 - 1889)*
Sarah Ann Willson Moffatt (1845 - 1916)*
Specifically: cemetery unknown
Created by: CJ
Record added: Feb 10, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 84783479
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