OUR MOCK WEDDING SUMMER 1963
(Fifth Line, Erin Township, Wellington County)
This may seem like a strange picture but it was one of the touching events of our marriage. Uncle Frank Freeman dressed up as the bride (i.e. Marjorie) and it looks like young Christopher Peers was the groom. (i.e. alan) Not sure about that as the groom might have been Aunt Lucinda Freeman.
All our kith and kin on the Freeman side were gathered at Uncle Frank and
Aunt Lucinda’s farm on the Fifth Line of Erin Township and the Mock Wedding proceeded.
Things like this are unusual today. Deep in the past rural folk in Herefordshire
England had all kinds reasons to make merry and mock weddings were
top of the list. The same was true for rural Canada. Farmers had limited
contact with big towns and even less with big cities like Toronto. City
people were regarded as different and just a little too worldly.
Mock Weddings, One room school concerts, birthdays, threshing bees,
funerals, Christmas, New Years were reasons to gather together.
Now that is not much different than city folk.
But take a look at my Uncle Frank…the bride is really different and
I doubt she (he) was common in the big city celebrations where
he might have been regarded as a cross dresser.
Eric and I were very lucky to live in both worlds. We were city
boys mostly. But sometimes we were part of rural life…accepted in
other words. Otherwise there would have been no mock wedding.
Imprinted. What was imprinted? Without thinking we knew we were welcome
at Uncle Frank and aunt Lucinda’s place…anytime, any season…no prior
notice needed. Just coming through the front door simply was always
a big event…a reason to laugh and sing. There are people like that here and
there in our life experience. People who you know would love to see you.
And there are others who want prior notice and even then you are never
sure you are wanted.
P>S> I just noticed that Uncle Frank had broken his arm. Wonder if we
noticed at the mock wedding. Uncle Frank was a non drinker and a non smoker
but seems to have found a corn cob pipe for the bride to puff. Parties at the
Freeman Farm did not need alcohol to make merry. Being a part of the Temperance
movement did not mean being dour and deadly.
*Elsie Freeman was our mother. Her father and mother, Edward and Louisa Freeman migrated to Canada
around 1908 for a variety of reasons. One reason was to escape the class system in
England. “Got sick of tipping my hat to my betters, Alan.” Granddad would say occasionally.
Canada was not a land of milk and honey they discovered. Their farm in Erin Township had one great crop…stones. So they were poor.
But they made the best of it.