Iden­ti­cal sis­ters share golden wed­ding

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Niki Ten­nant

Iden­ti­cal twins Allyson and Wendy McInnes, who walked down the aisle to­gether to marry their sweet­hearts 50 years ago, have re­turned to Halfway after en­joy­ing a Rus­sian cruise to cel­e­brate their joint golden wed­ding an­niver­sary.

A fresh-faced John Kerr was be­hind the counter of an ice cream van in a Drum­chapel street in the late 1960s when pretty young Allyson ap­proached the win­dow and asked for a cone.

When sis­ter Wendy went to the van to place her or­der, John – who was obliv­i­ous to the fact that they were twins – mis­took her for Allyson.

“We were very alike back then and, when John car­ried on the con­ver­sa­tion we’d had be­fore, Wendy looked at him like he was daft,” re­calls Allyson.

“He told the driver that the next per­son that came to the van, he would ask her out. He did. And it was me.

“He took me to a posh restau­rant in Glas­gow. Yes, he was quite hand­some – 6ft with a beard and a mous­tache.

“He was quite shy. I sup­pose I knew right away that he was the one for me.”

Mean­while, twin sis­ter Wendy had al­ready met her match after be­ing in­vited to a Scouts dance in the Forsyth Memorial Church in Go­van­hill – the area where the girls grew up. Wendy ac­cepted an in­vi­ta­tion to dance with a young man named Bert Reid, who then asked to walk her home.

The cou­ple’s first date was at the lo­cal pic­ture house.

After five years, they be­came en­gaged.

Bert and John – whose birthdays are only three days apart – be­came close friends through the girls.

And when the sis­ters’ par­ents, Alis­tair and Nett, learned that both their girls were in­tend­ing to marry, they sug­gested a joint cer­e­mony at Forsyth Memorial Church and the two cou­ples agreed.

On March 9, 1968, 20-year-olds Allyson and Wendy walked down the aisle with their proud dad, in iden­ti­cal bridal dresses lov­ingly hand­made by mum, Nett.

They said ‘I do’ to John and Bert, both 21, and the new Mr and Mrs Kerr and Mr and Mrs Reid en­joyed a fab­u­lous re­cep­tion with friends and fam­ily.

Be­tween them, Allyson and John, of Mill Road, Halfway, and Wendy and Bert, of nearby Co­nan Court, now have three sons, a daugh­ter, 11 grand­chil­dren and two great grand­sons.

Asked what the se­cret is to a long and happy mar­riage, 71-year-old Wendy replied: “Pa­tience, tol­er­ance, friend­ship and un­der­stand­ing, and get­ting to know each other’s lit­tle idio­syn­cra­sies.”

The two cou­ples cel­e­brated their joint 50th wed­ding an­niver­sary with a 14-day cruise around the Balkan coun­tries, in­clud­ing a visit to St Peters­burg.

Closer to home, they en­joyed the at­mos­phere and shared happy mem­o­ries at South La­nark­shire Coun­cil’s head­quar­ters in Hamil­ton. They met other cou­ples from all parts of the county who also mar­ried in 1968.

The an­nual event is hosted al­ter­nately by the North and South La­nark­shire au­thor­i­ties and guests were wel­comed on this oc­ca­sion by South La­nark­shire’s Provost Ian McAl­lan, in the com­pany of his north­ern coun­ter­part, Provost Jean Jones.

Provost McAl­lan said: “There is no one for­mula for a happy mar­riage – ev­ery one is unique and there are dif­fer­ent dif­fi­cul­ties and joys that each cou­ple faces along the way.

“What we saw at this event, how­ever, is what is the same truth for all: that it is all about find­ing that one per­son who is for you and, with that per­fect pair­ing, a bond is formed that is un­shake­able.

“It was a de­light to see that in so many cou­ples and each one of them has my ad­mi­ra­tion and my con­grat­u­la­tions.”

In the case of one cou­ple, the venue was cer­tainly fa­mil­iar ground.

Among those cel­e­brat­ing 50 years of mar­riage this year were South La­nark­shire Coun­cil’s leader, Coun­cil­lor John Ross and his wife, Irene.

Happy to­geth­erBert and Wendy Reid Dou­ble cel­e­bra­tionThe cou­ples on their big day in 1968 En­dur­ing loveJohn and Allyson Kerr

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