Gordon, Clara and Ura (Odie)

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                                URA (ODIE) & CLARA GORDON
                             Marking 60th Anniversary Sunday
                                     By Margie Butler

On September 29, 1936, Clara MacDonald and Ura (Odie) Gordon became man and wife. This Sunday they celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

Clara, 86, grew up in Auburnville, near Bay du Vin, met Odie, 91, of Lower Newcastle, on the Bay du Vin beach. “But he was with another girl,” she said. Their next meeting was at a dance and led to a three year courtship.

In 1936 they were married in Bayside at St. Michael’s church by Father Tom Barry. Clara’s maid of honor was her sister, Sarah, while Odie was attended by Ernest Doyle. A reception and dance was held to celebrate the occasion, after which the newlyweds went on a short honeymoon. “The first night we went as far as Doaktown,” said Clara. “The next day we continued on to Fredericton, a long trip back then.” The trip was made in Odie’s own car – a Durant.

The couple settled in Lower Newcastle in a rented house where they remained until the death of Odie’s mother. They then moved into the family homestead in Lower Newcastle with Odie’s father and remain there to this day.

The Gordons raised four. One lives in Moncton, two in Nackawic, while another son lives across the road from his parents. The family now includes nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Odie supported his family by farming, fishing and road work. “We had shanties in Burnt Church, where we went down to fish in the water,” said Odie. “And we fished salmon right out there,” he said, indicating the Miramichi River, which can be seen from a kitchen window of their home. In the spring and fall, Odie did roadwork, while the summer was spent farming the family land. He was also a trustee with the one-room school in Lower Newcastle.

The farm was self-supporting, said Clara. “We had pigs, sheep, cows, horses and chickens.” The Gordons planted their own potatoes and vegetables, smoked hams and pickled fish and made their own butter. Wood was obtained from the woodlots on the property.

Clara spent her spare time sewing for other people as well as for her family. She spent seven years as a seamstress in the laundry room at the Chatham hospital, later becoming the house mother at the Hotel Dieu School of Nursing. She remained there until the school closed on Sept. 13, 1973.

Odie retired in 1965, which gave the couple the opportunity to travel to such places as Minnesota and Florida. Over the past few years they’ve enjoyed going to senior card parties, often two to three nights a week.

Clara has continued practising her talent with the needle, making quilts for her children and grandchildren. Her latest project – a knitted afghan – is nearly complete.

Odie, 91 and Clara, 86, are looking forward to Sunday when friends and relatives are invited to drop by their home, between 2-4 p.m., to join in the celebration of their anniversary. They have already received letters of congratulations from Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Chretien, Lieutenant Governor McCain, Governor General Romeo LeBlanc, MLA Charles Hubbard and Bernard Valcourt, leader of the Progressive Conservative party of New Brunswick.

Source: Miramichi Leader Weekend – September 27, 1996

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