Wedding couple remain mystery


The mystery of the couple who married at Tamahere some time last century and whose wedding photo was posted to England persists.

The post seeking information about “Arthur and Glad” drew one interesting response but did not resolve the mystery.

“I’ve had a scan through my list of marriages at St Stephen’s, Tamahere between 1883 and 1967 – though the clothing in the photo looks 1920s-30s to me – and there’s only one groom called Arthur,” emailed local, Marg Forde.

“He was Arthur Webster and he married Sylvia Mary Danford on April 11, 1928.” So, no glad tidings for Londoner Claire Ivison who has found the photo of Arthur and Glad among family memorabilia and wonders whether they have a connection to her family.

Intrepid investigator Marg also looked through the church’s baptisms for any mention of Gladys or Arthur that would have put them at marriageable age in the 1920s and 30s. She found Gladys Mary Mullins (baby of Harry and Eliza Jane Mullins) baptised on May 14, 1891, and Gladys Ellen Jeffs (baby of Selvannes George and Maria Maude Jeffs) on May 20, 1901.

None of those names accorded with Claire’s family names of Hawken, Nichols and Retallick.

Mystery couple Arthur and Glad

Not to be deterred Marg speculated that perhaps the couple in the photo weren’t Arthur and Glad. “Maybe Arthur and Glad are parents of the groom, or bride,” she wondered. Another tack for Claire to take perhaps?

For general interest, Marg also notes that the first couple married in St Stephen’s were Martin Pickering and Catherine Barugh, on July 26, 1883. One of their daughters, Ida Pickering, married Percy Dingle there on April 14,1920. Their son, George, who is Marg’s Dad’s cousin (via Catherine Barugh), was baptised in the church on October 12, 1930. George Dingle remains a loyal and much loved regular at St Stephen’s.

From London, Claire sent her gratitude for the effort put in to try and solve her mystery.

“I always knew that the chances of finding out the identities of the bride and groom were slim, but thought it worth a try. We are looking forward to our visit to New Zealand, and plan to travel via Tamahere en route between Rotorua and Auckland in March.”

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