50 Years ago: Golden wedding anniversary celebrations

In the Jan. 5, 1966 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, under the headline, “Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Foster celebrate Golden Wedding Anniversary,” Cayman Brac correspondent Lilian Ritch wrote:

“‘This is your life, Mother and Dad, 1915 to 1965.’ “This is the title of the Golden Wedding Anniversary Album compiled by the eight children, Charles, Audrey, Floyd, Berkley, Zeta, Ouida, Dennis and Trevor, of Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Foster of Groveland.

“It was on Wednesday, Dec. 29 at 5 p.m., 50 years ago, that Arnold Foster and Miss Agatha Van de Sande stood together in her mother’s yard at the Creek and were joined in holy matrimony by Rev. J.J. Griffiths. The bridegroom recalls today that during the years they have sought nothing for themselves, at no time either went back on the other; they have fought to train their children and today they thank God for each and pray that each may receive a blessing for honoring their parents.

“On Wednesday last, their children honoured them with a 50th Wedding Anniversary Buffet Supper at their home at which were present some 86 relatives and friends sharing in their joy and thanksgiving. The hour set was 6 p.m. A hooded candle glowing on either side of the beginning of the walkway showed the path to the door where Nancy Kirkconnell and Sherry Foster, little granddaughters, stood to welcome the guests with ‘Good Evening’, and ‘We’re glad you could come.’ Three older cousins, Jenny and Charles Foster and Moses Kirkconnell, invited them to sign the register. The wedding cake was simply 50.

“The toast to the couple was proposed by Mr. Charles Y. Briggs whose reminiscences paid tribute to the Foster family, stating that it was they who caused him to remain. In congratulating Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Foster, he said it took a long time to do all the wonderful things they had accomplished – building ships, a home, opening a shop – so many things and not least the achievement in which he has been associated with Mr. Cappi, [of] Cayman Brac Power and Light Co., Ltd. He asked God’s blessing on them both.

“Mr. Dennis Foster extended a warm and cordial welcome on behalf of his brothers and sisters, saying, ‘On this very special occasion we are happy to see you participating and sharing our joy.’ To the youngest, Trevor, was given the privilege of presenting their gift, a gilt wall plate inscribed ‘To our parents on their golden wedding anniversary, Dec. 29, 1965 with love and appreciation. Your children.’ He expressed grateful awareness of God’s rich blessing that the family should all be alive and be all together.

“Mr. Arnold (Cappi) Foster told how happy he was to see everyone. Relating the distances from which his children had come, and their cooperation with Dennis to build up this anniversary celebration among themselves he said, ‘My wife and myself are glad that they have afforded us this day – the sacrifices are too great for us. For themselves it was wonderful, – yes! This brought them together, I say it is God’s blessing!’ And he thanked his sons-in-law and daughters-in-law to whom they owe so much. Rev. Randall Douglas blessed the cake and supper followed.

“Guests sat around candlelit tables out of doors. The gifts were beautiful and relatives and friends will forgive the special mention of an ultra-modern refrigerator from the children and grandchildren, weather plaque from Edmund and Lewis Foster (bros.) and their families (U.S.A), and a reproduction of their wedding picture from Mrs. Melita Rivers, (sister U.S.A.).

“For the family the evening was replete with that deep joy of kindred hearts beating as one.”