First comes love.

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Fred & Iris Middleton celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on the afternoon of Saturday July 4, 2015 at the Royal Canadian legion, Great Northern Rd., Sault Ste. Marie.
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There were well over 100 people who came out to honour the lovely couple. A couple who must have been destined to meet. The legacy that they have built is truly remarkable. Trying to keep it all straight can be a difficult thing indeed. The story of this couple is best shared through family, and Brian Middleton, Fred and Iris’s son, kindly offered portions of the speech he presented for, and about, his parents to saultonline.com for use in this story.

The following are Brian Middleton’s words.
“Seventy years ago this month a pretty dark-haired twenty year old girl from Northern England and a handsome twenty-one year old soldier from Nova Scotia made promises to one another in an Anglican Church in south Yorkshire. 
It was only weeks after the VE Day celebrations throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

Today we can only imagine the sort of joy and suffering that people then had just been experiencing over the previous six years of World War and always with huge uncertainty about what the next day, even the next hour might bring.

People then really didn’t know if their next day was going to be their last and they lived with that awareness from moment to moment in a way that most of us here cannot know or

even perhaps imagine.

So it really was a brave new world that both Iris and Fred were setting off on as a very young couple. And for my mother, a brand new country was waiting for her, where she knew no one yet, except our Dad.

They were brave. They married on a sunny day July 7th 1945. Mom was surrounded by her family and friends and the Wallace Road neighbours in Sheffield who had all rallied ’round and thrown in their ration coupons in order to create a proper “knees-up” as only those in the north of England can. Food, drink, even the sugar and flour for their two-tiered wedding cake with enough clothing ration coupons to also buy our mother’s simple but beautiful white satin gown.

Did you know that seventy years equals 25,577 days? That’s a lot of days to keep a promise and never break it during your life. And many a tricky bridge has been crossed together over the decades since they started off in 1945.

But Mom and Dad must have realized that as long as they could stick together, no matter how tough it got , they would make it. And that they did and here they are. A treasured gift and great blessing in the lives of all of the rest of us.”

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MP Bryan Hayes was in attendance to present the couple with a commemorative gift to mark the occasion. Iris Middleton’s 90th birthday was part of the festivities as well. Further to the 70th Wedding Anniversary, and a 90th happy birthday, Fred & Iris’s son and daughter-in-law, Roy and Shirley Middleton were celebrating their 40th Wedding Anniversary too. That is alot of cake. And there was certainly alot of warmth and fellowship being shared by and sprinkled on to a couple who serve as an inspiration to their family, friends, and community.

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Congratulations Fred and Iris from saultonline.com. Thank you Brian Middleton, for sharing your family story with us. It’s safe to say Fred and Iris, were truly meant to find each other. First came love, then came marriage. Then came a legacy.

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