Two ‘Diamond’ Derry couples who were married on the same day, in the same church, will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversaries this Sunday.
The weddings of Eamon and Mary Melaugh and Nellie and Davy Barr took place in St Columba’s Church, Long Tower on April 3rd, 1956, which was the Tuesday after Easter.
The Melaughs and Barrs were married in the church alongside three other couples, something which was not unusual at the time.
Throughout they years, they have continued to stay in touch and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversaries together ten years ago.
Nellie and Davy Barr, who live in Northland Drive, went on to have eight children - four boys and four girls.
They are now also proud grandparents to 22 grandchildren and a number of great grandchildren.
Pictures from the wedding day show the smiling young couple resplendent in their finery, with Nellie in a beautiful white dress and veil, carrying a pretty posy of flowers and Davy in a sharp suit with a large carnation on his lapel.
Eamon and Mary Melaugh have 26 children, 11 sons and 15 daughters.
Eleven are their biological children and 15 were fostered by the couple, who say they are devoted to all of them.
Eamon recalled how the couple’s wedding reception on the day they were married was held in an upstairs bedroom of Mary’s parents’ home.
The couple chose to mark their 60th anniversary, which is known as a ‘Diamond’ anniversary, in a unique and special way.
Eamon is well known in Derry though his tireless work with his charity, ‘Action With Effect,’ which provides a feeding programme, loving care and the building of homes and orphanages for the destitute in India.
The couple have seen the impoverished conditions people experience there at first hand.
Therefore, to mark their 60th anniversary, Eamon personally and of his own accord, paid for a meal and clothing for a ‘lunch party’ for 60 homeless women in India. The women and children were pictured with a special message for the couple on their anniversary, wishing them every happiness. Eamon told the ‘Journal’ that if anyone in Derry also wished to mark an event such as a birthday, wedding or anniversary in this way, he would be more than happy to help them do so. See www.actionwitheffect.org
Explaining his reasons for helping people in India, Eamon added: “The reason of life on planet earth is to give the highest human expression to the attributes God has bestowed on you.”
He added: “If you do beautiful things then you will become as beautiful as the things you do.”
Both couples will celebrate their special 60th wedding anniversaries with their families this weekend.