Celebrating 15 Years of Marriage

Happy Anniversary to us! In the first wee hour of September 7, daughter Audrey came by after we had dressed up in our wedding finery so she could take a picture to complete the musical slideshow Gayle has been working on to document our 15 wedding anniversaries in several far-flung areas of North America.

The music is one of our favourites, Robbie Burns’ “My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose” which Ian sang to Gayle at our church reception following the wedding. On this slideshow the singer is Kenneth McKellar, the famous Scottish opera and concert virtuoso. If Gayle ever figures out how to isolate Ian’s rendition of the song from our wedding day video, she may one day substitute Ian’s voice for that of McKellar’s.

For the most part our anniversaries have been happy occasions celebrated first in Manitoba, then in Mexico for two years, nine years in British Columbia and now back in Manitoba for the last three years. Only our fifth anniversary photo illustrates the wedding vows “for worse … in sickness…” as that anniversary found Ian in the Intensive Care Unit at Vernon Jubilee Hospital in British Columbia having been felled into a life-threatening situation by sepsus and BOOP (bronciolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia). By the time of our anniversary he had just come out of an induced coma but was unable to talk due to a tracheostomy tube. Gayle had been visiting every day and singing to him as he slowly recovered. She couldn’t bring flowers, wine or chocolates into the ICU to celebrate their anniversary so instead substituted two appropriately decorated helium balloons. These, however, caused Ian to freak out on anniversary night when he mistook them for ghosts as they floated around above his bed, so they had to be taken away. Frightening memories for him that we can now laugh about!

We hope you enjoy a second musical slideshow of our 15th wedding anniversary to a rendition of Ian singing one of his signature Scottish tunes, “Come In, Come In, It’s Nice Tae See Ye” (written by Andy Stewart and Ian MacFayen for the White Heather Club). This is from a CD of Scottish songs Ian recorded just before we left Mexico in early 2007. We hope you’ll enjoy it.

Regarding this slideshow, we’ve really laughed at the likeness to Churchill that Ian shows on the first photo, when Ian was caught unposed. Guess he looks like Winston when he is serious. We went out for dinner late on our anniversary NOT in our wedding finery. Just getting Ian kilted up for photos was quite a task now that he is not in very good health again. It was much easier when he could do it for himself. We do love his kilted look, though, and wish he could wear it more often.

As a last chuckle, we share this photo taken a few years ago at the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden in Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park when Ian was hamming it up with his “twin.” We were struck by the facial similarity to Mol’s Winston Churchill bust. Leo Mol is the professional name for renowned Ukrainian Canadian stained glass artist and sculptor Leonid Molodoshanin (1915-2009) who died in Winnipeg at age 94.

Ian and Churchill

7 thoughts on “Celebrating 15 Years of Marriage

  1. We really enjoyed looking at your lives together, we are from the town of his birth, we both knew wee Chrissie as we called her ,my husband is the youngest son of jock mc millan and George his brother in his late eightieis still with us, their lives centred round the Salvation Army, my husband kicked against the restrictive regime, no fun on sundays and cinemas were a no no on any day. Ian’s stepfather was a very good friend of my ,then father-in-law and Chrissie was a guest at my first wedding and also my eldest daughters wedding in 1977. the lovely memories your and Ian’s story evokes are precious.thank you for sharing.m mc millan


    • How delightful to hear from you Moira and Campbell! Though Ian isn’t with us anymore, I know he would have been delighted to read your comments also. Campbell’s brother George was one of Ian’s favourite childhood friends and they often spoke on transAtlantic telephone calls in Ian’s later years until he got too feeble to call. I hope George is doing well. Ian died last year at 86 and I know George was a year or two older so he must be soon approaching 90. Have you read Ian’s first memoir, From Poverty to Poverty? It includes a lot of information on his and George’s childhood and beginning life in the Salvation Army. Interesting that you should mention that your husband kicked against the restrictive regime of the Salvation Army. So did Ian, as he readily relates in that book, though its wonderful music-making drew him back again and again. I’m just finishing up the publication of Ian’s second memoir, Came To Canada, Eh? and will be uploading the “Coming Soon” version of the Teaser Trailer Book Video momentarily. Perhaps you’ll want to check it out. Working intensely on Ian’s second memoir has been a real help to my time of grief after his passing and during this trying pandemic. Thank you for writing and please greet George and Ellen for me. I think I had a phone conversation once in the past when Ian and George were talking. Gayle Moore-Morrans


    • Remember, he is only a lookalike of Churchill, Jim. No cigars – ever! Though Ian quit smoking some 20 years ago, alas, with the growing dementia, he recently routinely has started to ask for cigarettes. Just as routinely I have to remind him that he no longer smokes, that I would never have married him if he did smoke and that we live in a non-smoking building. It’s an uphill battle! By the way, he does the Churchill voice very authentically as well – perfect patrician accent as he makes a “V” sign and growls “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.” and “We shall never surrender!” I frankly think that he should currently be learning another Churchill quote: “I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.”

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