A LIMERICK couple have celebrated their first hen and stag dos - 50 years after getting married.
Bernie, 71, and Tony Tynne, 76, of Bellfield Gardens, will walk up the aisle again this Friday in St Joseph’s church - exactly 50 years to the day that they first said ‘I do’ - as they renew their vows.
“She’s my very best friend,” said Tony, from their home this week, which was a hive of activity as the they prepared for a very special celebration.
“People ask us what’s the secret to a happy marriage,” said Bernie, “and I say having different interests but always being supportive of each other.”
Tony, who worked with Shell Oil for 35 years, has held every position in Limerick Boat Club since 1958, including secretary, president, coach and chairman, while Bernie has sung with choirs from throughout Limerick.
The choir at their anniversary mass will be made up of 25 of her friends from across different choral unions.
“Tony is interested in rowing and quizzes, and for me it has always been music and playing bridge. We have our separate interests but we support each other,” she said.
While there was no such thing as having hen or stag dos 50 years ago, the couple and parents of three children kept their individual celebrations before their second big day rather low key and tame affairs.
They first met in 1958 when Bernie was 15. “My mother was horrified because he was six years older,” she said, with a laugh.
They broke up after three months at Christmas, but were reunited for life three years later on New Year’s eve. They got engaged on December 14, 1963, and married on August 15, 1964, which incidentally is Tony’s birthday, and he will turn 77 this Friday.
Their engagement photo appeared in the Limerick Leader, as did a little article on their wedding, and now the Leader has documented the five decades of marriage they spent together. The article on their wedding began: “The wedding of two popular Limerick personalities, Mr Tony Tynne and Miss Bernie Keane, took place in St Joseph’s church...The bride is a well known Limerick soprano and the bridegroom a prominent sportsman and captain of Limerick Boat Club”.
Members of the boat club crossed oars and formed a guard of honour as they made their way out of the church, and it only seems like yesterday to the couple.
“I cannot believe 50 years has passed because I still remember kneeling down in St Joseph’s church so clearly,” she said.
Fifty years ago she wore a gown of full length white satin brocade sheath, but this Friday she has resisted the urge to wear white, and has instead opted for a turquoise and gold dress.
“It’ll be a fabulous occasion to have so many of our friends and family celebrate it with us. Many of our friends have sadly passed away, and the older you get the more you appreciate your health and your loved ones. Every day is a blessing,” she said.
In the mass booklet they wrote: “On August 15, 1964, we bound out lives together with the words ‘I will” and “I do” and these words have grown deeper and more meaningful throughout the years we’ve spent together.”
Over 120 people will attend the anniversary mass in St Joseph’s church, and they will celebrate afterwards in the Castletroy hotel.
The mass will be presided over by Fr John Daly, who also said their 25th anniversary mass.