Mar­ried in a cas­tle


Canning Times - - FRONT PAGE - Jaime Shurmer

NINETY years ago, Rina Holmes’ home and play­ground was in a cas­tle perched on the edge of the River Clyde in Port of Glas­gow.

Her mother died in child­birth, so she was raised by her fa­ther and grand­par­ents in the “very lonely” cas­tle that was orig­i­nally built to cater for Sir Pa­trick Maxwell’s fam­ily of 16 chil­dren.

Rina’s grand­fa­ther was the cas­tle’s cus­to­dian and Rina said she looked for­ward to go­ing to school, where she met Ed­die Holmes whom she mar­ried in June 1946.

The pair cel­e­brated their 71st wed­ding an­niver­sary this year and rem­i­nisced about the day they said their vows while both in uni­form in­side the cas­tle’s Great Room.

With their first child aged four years and the sec­ond just nine months, they boarded a ship for Aus­tralia, where Mr Holmes’ skills as a builder flour­ished.

But their ar­rival at Fre­man­tle Port brought tears to the eyes of Mrs Holmes.

“There was a sign that said ‘Go Home You Bloody Poms’,” she said.

There was a sign that said ‘Go Home You Bloody Poms’

“But we can only speak highly of how we were treated.”

They lived in trades­men flats on Ep­som Street in Bel­mont and Mr Holmes went bush to build shear­ing sheds for farm­ers, who were mak­ing a tidy liv­ing from wool.

To­gether they raised six chil­dren, who all still live in Perth, and the fam­ily has flour­ished with 14 grand­chil­dren, 11 great-grand­chil­dren and a great-great-grandie on the way.

Many have re­turned to Scot­land to visit Ne­wark Cas­tle, which is now a tourist high­light.

Mr Holmes, who turns 91 next month, said the key for their longevity was “home­made soup and porridge” and he said con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion was im­por­tant for a long-last­ing mar­riage.

The cou­ple have lived in Riverton for 12 years.

Ed­die (91) and Rina (90) Holmes are cel­e­brat­ing their 71st wed­ding an­niver­sary.

Ed­die and Rina Holmes on their wed­ding day in 1946.

Rina Holmes’ birth­place: 15th cen­tury Ne­wark Cas­tle, Scot­land.

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