30 Jun 2022

Keeping up the Anniversary tradition

The list to the right is the traditional list of gifts which celebrate wedding anniversaries.

The list to the right is the traditional list of gifts which celebrate wedding anniversaries.

The list dates from the 1930s when the American Retail Jewellers drew up the list for the first time although some of the milestone anniversaries like silver and gold date from medieval times. The notion of marking the years of marriage was an effort to honour and celebrate the stability and longevity of that marriage, particularly in difficult times.

Looking at the list above it seems to me that photographs feature quite significantly. Wonder how? Well have a look at this. 1st Paper (photographs); 2nd Cotton (canvas photographs); 3rd Leather (framed photographs); 5th Wood (framed photographs) 9th Pottery (framed photographs) and so on right through the list.

Speaking of photographs, here is a true story which is tied in with the Ruby Anniversary and will warm your hearts.

It was the 16th March 1973 and PJ Brennan married Mary Donohue in Durrow Church and held a celebration reception in the Castle Arms Hotel in Durrow, a wedding venue run by the Murphy family.

Their photographer was the well known Terry Redmond from Portlaoise and in his career as a wedding photographer which started back in 1949 it is estimated that he photographed 3,000 weddings! So, while the couple were on honeymoon, the film was processed back in the darkroom of the studio in the lower Square the prints were made by hand and then mounted in, what was a favourite album at the time, a calf skin leather album.

And so the years passed and the album was a centre-piece in the family until one fateful day and the album was lost in a small house fire.  Tears were shed and the loss was mourned. It was assumed that the album was gone forever until a few weeks ago when the couple’s grown-up children were making plans for the Ruby Anniversary Celebrations.

An enquiry was made by daughter Linda to the photographic gallery and studio of Terry’s son Brian based in Roscrea since 1976.   Brian is the only one in the family practising photography and it is he who holds the negative archive of his late father. By any chance would there still be a file of negatives from so far back? The answer was yes! A quick search through that year’s negatives yielded a Ruby surprise, there they were, in pristine condition filed for 40 years and opened for the first time since 1973!

Technology has moved on and with the aid of a high resolution scanner, Brian and his team made digital copies of the negatives and set about the task of making a new album with pictures which looked as fresh and clean as they were when they were printed first all those years ago.

Needless to say there were tears of joy when the album was presented to the couple by their children at the family celebrations. What a great record in the lives of two people and their families and friends, bound together in a new leather book for generations to enjoy.

This story is one of many repeated over the years when clients returned to enquire about reprints from original high quality negatives. Some have had whole albums reprinted while others have had single portraits of their parents on their wedding day to hang in their own home.

It also proves the importance of family photographs which grow more valuable as the years go by. A well made portrait or album will be a long term investment and will still be there in four generations time.

The Terry Redmond Archive of negative files go back to 1959. Brian’s own files go back to 1976 and would cover such anniversaries as 10th, 20th, 25th, 30th and 35th. Brian can be contacted at 0505 21936,

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