Clare and Gilbert Cole, 65 years married

WelCom August 2021 Carmel Cole rndm On Friday 4 June this year my parents, Clare and Gilbert Cole, celebrated 65 years married. Both in their 90s, they have been parishioners…

WelCom August 2021

Clare and Gilbert Cole, 65 years married Archdiocese of Wellington
Clare and Gilbert Cole cut their 65th wedding anniversary cake, Saturday, 5 June 2021.

Carmel Cole rndm

On Friday 4 June this year my parents, Clare and Gilbert Cole, celebrated 65 years married. Both in their 90s, they have been parishioners at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Palmerston North, for over 20 years. 

Clare and Gilbert Cole were married on 4 June 1956 in the Dunedin Cathedral. This year, on Sunday 6 June they celebrated 65 years of life together with a small family gathering and a blessing at the Parish Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Fr Joe Grayland prayed for them during the Mass and gave them a special blessing after the final prayer. Many parishioners congratulated Clare and Gilbert after Mass.

Gilbert, a dairy farmer from Featherston, Wairarapa, and Clare a primary teacher met when Clare was stationed at South Featherston School. Clare’s brother Fr Pat McAleese was their wedding celebrant. After the 9am wedding and with snow falling they set off on their honeymoon. 

They moved to the Cole-family farm out of Featherston and children were soon on the way. Over the next 10 years they had five children, Carmel, Patrick, Loretta, Frank and Bernadette. The family has now grown to 11 grandchildren and eight great grandsons. 

Clare and Gilbert have been involved in community and Church activities wherever they have lived – Featherston, Carterton, Greytown, Rongotea and, for the last 20 years, Palmerston North. Clare often played the organ at Sunday Mass and for weddings and funerals over many years. She has been an active member of the CWL, Guild, Third Order of Mary and Country Women’s Institute. Until recently she was a regular reader at Mass and often led the Monday liturgy when there was no priest. Gilbert could always be relied on to help in any working bee especially for the schools their children attended over many years. He has a wonderful garden and often after the Saturday night Mass there would be bunches of flowers or packets of beans to be given away. 

We thank God for their life together and continue to pray for God’s blessing over the coming years. 

Carmel Cole rndm, is Provincial Leader, Congregation of Our Lady of the Missions.