Amos, Richard and Vilda

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                                      RICHARD &VILDA AMOS
                                        By Angie Price

Richard and Vilda Amos were the centre of attention when a four day celebration was held to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary. “It was quite the four days, it was really wonderful, exciting, and surprising,” Vilda said.

The biggest surprise was the ribbon cutting. The couple were on their way to the curling club when they reached the top of the hill on Amos Lane. This is where they saw the large group of family members and the ribbon to be cut. “I thought the army was there. I didn’t know what was going on,” Vilda said. “It was really surprising all the way through.”

Over 300 family and friends gathered in Doaktown July 10-14 to join in the festivities.

Pink flamingos, balloons and ribbons decorated the Amos lawn and Amos Lane.

The couple had 13 children, 41 grandchildren, 43 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren for a total of 99 direct descendants. The couple was married on Wednesday, July 12, 1922 at the old Baptist Parish in Doaktown.

Vilda Clowater had moved to Doaktown from Holtville at the age of 14. She lived in the Walt Parker house located on the South Road.

Met at train station

When asked where she met her husband of 70 years, Vilda’s reply was, “probably at the train station; that used to be the excitement back then watching the train come in.”

One of their sons, Haviland, agreed with them and gave a speech during the meet and greet on Friday evening, telling how the couple became engaged. He said his parents were at the train station one slippery day in March 1922. Richard slipped on a piece of ice and fell and before getting up he asked Vilda to marry him. She said yes and the date was set for July.

In 1925 their first child was born, Elwood, who lives on Amos Lane near his parents. The next 12 children, from eldest to youngest are as follows: Gladys (Stephens) Fredericton; Percy, Fredericton; Alice (Robinson), Hazelton; Otto, Chipman; Haviland, Storeytown; Eva (Ward), Hazelton; Marilyn (Hovey), Ludlow; Arnold, Fredericton; Donna (Munn), Doaktown; Edna (Carson), Holtville; Sharon (Flowers), Fort Murray Alberta; and Wayne, Doaktown.

The couple have lived at their home on Amos Lane since they were married. This is where they raised their six boys and seven girls. Richard is 92, and Vilda will be 88 this fall.

Richard worked in the woods for 13 years and then went to the railroad for 42 years before he retired. Vilda worked at the old Victorian Hospital and as a practical nurse at McLaughlin’s Nursing Home in Fredericton.

The railway took him away from home a lot of the time. He remembered leaving Vilda with a pair of horses, seven head of cattle, and six children to look after on one occasion.

All of the Amos children were present for the anniversary. They decided to plan the event last Christmas.

The family got together in March to begin planning for this rare occasion. They planned everything down pat, and the weather was in their favor.

They took in all the celebrations on the weekend with no rain. When at the pool swimming, they were even lucky enough to miss a thunder and lightning storm that was in areas around them. The festivities got underway at 7:30 p. m. on Friday with a surprise ribbon cutting ceremony on the start of Amos Lane on Route 8. The surprise was for Vilda, Richard, and daughter Sharon. They were the only ones out of the whole family unaware of this event.

Many family members made videos of this event and CBC TV cameras were there and featured a story on the family. After DoaktownMayor Benson Parker cut the gold ribbon and MLA Brent Taylor gave a speech and presentation, everyone gathered at the Doaktown Curling Club for a meet and greet and a dance. The guests of honor led with the first waltz.

About 180 people, mostly family members, gathered to hear D. J. MacRae from Blackville play a variety of tunes. Richard and Vilda enjoyed the music until after midnight and most of crowd danced their way into the wee hours of the morning.

The next morning between 9 and 11 a. m., family members gathered at Eva and Vingie Ward’s in Hazelton for breakfast.

Pool party

The group gave their food a chance to settle before the afternoon fun in the sun next to Marilyn and Boyd Hovey’s pool in Ludlow. The children played while most of the adults sat talking and watching. Before long, it was time to dry off and head back to Doaktown. This time it was for a pot luck dinner at Donna and Willard Munn’s. Then it was back to the pool again for more swimming, refreshments and a lot more reminiscing and joke telling. After the children were finished swimming for the evening, they watched movies inside. As the adults sat around the pool until early in the morning. On Sunday morning, a special church service was held at 11 a. m. at the United Church in Doaktown, with the Amos family taking part. As the service began, the family took the choir’s seat.

Rev. Willard Lyons welcomed everyone to the special occasion on behalf of the Amos family. A granddaughter, Arlene Munn, played the organ for the congregation and the family.

The children of Richard and Vilda sang a hymn accompanied by Munn. After the offering and creed, Donna and Willard played guitars and sang. Before the service got underway, Percy welcomed everyone and asked them to join them at an open house held later in the day. During the service, Eva gave a reading, Sharon read a short verse, and Otto and Arnold circulated the collection plates.

Over 300 signed

When the church service was over the family headed once again to the curling club to prepare for the open house from 2-5 p. m. Over 300 well-wishers signed the guest book. On display were card of congratulations, a few gifts, a 22” x 28” card from the family plus certificates and plaques.

The plaques were from Mayor Parker and the Amos family. Certificates were from: the Queen; Governor General of Canada; MP, Maurice Dionne; MLA, Danny Cameron; New Brunswick Premier, Frank McKenna; Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney and Liberal Leader, Jean Chritean.

Also on display were pictures that had been taken by a grandson, Kevin Robinson. The pictures were of the first evening of the celebration.

Family and friends travelled from Windsor, Ont.; Prince George, BC; Fort MacMurray, Albetra; St. John, Fredericton, Chatham, Newcastle, Moncton, Edmundston, and the surrounding areas.

On Monday afternoon from 2-4 p. m. a tea and cake social was held at the Amos home on Amos Lane for those who could not attend the open house. During this time, videos of the events were watched. A count of cards received showed 145 congratulations so far.

Source: Miramichi Leader – July 22, 1992

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