Family and close friends recently gathered for a surprise celebration of 50 years of wedded bliss for popular Attunga couple Jimmie and Mary McGuire.
Jimmie and Mary, who were married at St Nicholas Catholic Church in Tamworth back in December 1970, were completely unaware of the celebratory luncheonorganised by their four children, but in his true Scotsman style, Jimmie – with his slightly teary wife of half a century tucked under his arm, lapped up the “well done mate” comments from all the guests as he made his way to the lunch table.
Jimmie and Mary very caringly raised four children – Shauna, Brendan, Liam and Mirren – that team so far presenting the couple with six grandchildren. Shauna, Liam and Mirren and their families were in attendance at the anniversary gathering, but Brendan and his family were noticeable absentees due to the second-born’s current five-year stint in New Zealand managing a plumbing firm – and of course, the current COVID 19 restrictions on overseas travel.
Now retired plumber JimmieMcGuire is well known for his heavy involvement within the local soccer ranks for many years and even more so for his ability to burst into song whenever the mood suited. He and Mary joke that they vividly recall the first night they met – Mary in particular.
“We used to attend regular dances at a local club back then, and there was a visiting soccer team from Sydney up for the weekend. Myself and a friend went to the dance, so did Jimmie – that’s where I met him. But I didn’t like him – I couldn’t understand him,” Mary joked.
Though as the night rolled on, Jimmie offered to take Mary home, to which she accepted. Then he suggested they go on a date. “I gave him my work number, and he just threw the piece of paper into the back of his ute and I thought, ‘well that’s the end of that’. Then during the week, he rang and offered to take me out,” she recalled.
Like any couple reaching the 50-year mark, Jimmie and Mary have endured both happy and hard times, one tough call being cleaning all the second-hand bricks to build their current home in Attunga, the home they completed back in 1975.
“We carted them from Tamworth for the original house. They came from the old St Andrew’s residence of the McKay family which was demolished to build McKay Nursing Home. We had lots of bricks, so all the original walls in the house are double bricked. In 1990, we added extensions in only single brick, these we sourced from a property at Somerton,” the couple recalled.
Jimmie and Mary, who still manage to laugh at each other’s silly jokes, attribute a long marriage to having a “close family and a lot of tolerance” according to Mary, and “never taking yourself too seriously” from Jimmie. By Vinnie Todd