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Fifty years of marriage for Joe and Muriel - Doug Jones writes

Patron of the Sydney OBA Joseph Rodrigo and his wife Muriel notched up a Golden partnership when they celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary on Sunday February 3 at the Holroyd Function Centre in Merrylands (Sydney).

The celebration was planned and presnted by their sons Jeremy and his wife Eisvaree, Russell and wife Savithri and daughter Geraldine and grandchildren Jerome, Joseph, Ramon, Raminda, Thilani and Kishani. About 120 friends and relatives and their families attended.

In responding to the many toasts, Joe likened their milestone in life to the batsman who, when scoring a half century would raise his bat in the air and acknowledge the cheers of his team mates and the crowd. He took this occasion, Joe said, to raise his hands to thank God for making it all possible.

Joe was figuratively a hospital case when he met Muriel in the Galle Hospital where he worked as a Radiographer. The story goes (according to Joe, of course) that in January 1956 a ship got stranded in Galle like the container ship Pascha Bulka here in Newcastle (NSW) recently and the Senior Radiographer told him that they should play tourist and drive up to Galle Harbour in his car and take a look. He also asked Joe to invite the three nurses in the hospital. Now the Nurses’ quarters were on the first floor of the Radio department and Joe’s eyes were not always concentrating on X-ray films and machines. He’d been watching the nurses going to and fro on and off duty, especially one petite sister-in-charge of the Operating theatres. Of course, Joe made sure the nurses were invited and they accepted.

Joe and Muriel were married on February 3 in 1958 at St Mary’s Church, Bambalapitiya with the late Rev. Fr. O.Morelli, an American Jesuit, officiating.

Of the surviving members of the bridal party, one flower girl, now Mrs Suranganie Abeysundara travelled all the way from Sri Lanka while the second flower girl Sriyani (now residing in Canada) was represented by her sister Mercia, who, with husband Susantha, paid a surprise visit for the occasion, also from Sri Lanka.

Among close friends attending were Dr Douglas Arndt and his wife Vilma who sponsored the Rodrigo family’s migration to Australia in 1973. Vilma and Muriel worked together as Nurses in Colombo and as Muriel’s parents lived in Matale, she spent most of her free time with Vilma’s parents, whom she soon came to affectionately regard as ‘Pa’ and ‘Ma’.

Then there was Dr Lionel “Chokka” Fernando (whom Muriel knew from Medical College days) and wife Mallika who flew in from New Zealand for the celebration.

Also there was ‘Tupps’ aka Dr Appiah Tharmarajah and his wife Swarna. Now, Joe and ‘Tupps’ are Old Bens and from their College days, like the proverbial Mary’s lamb it seems, everywhere that ‘Tupps’ went Joe was sure to go and vice versa. ‘Tupps” paid glowing tribute to Joe and Muriel in his brief toast.

Congratulations Joe and Muriel! Here's to many more years!
 Posted by dougjay on February 07 2008 02:48:10 · 1 Comments · 3250 Reads Print
Emmanuel Lucian Alles on March 21 2008 13:50:58
CONGRATULATIONS to Joe and Muriel on their Golden Wedding Anniversary. May the merciful Lord keep you under His loving care for many more years to come.
Lucian and Tamara Alles (Canada)
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