Doncaster man gets birthday wish to renew vows

Wedding vow renewal for John Pownell Shaw and Barbara Patricia Shaw at Anchor House Care Home
Wedding vow renewal for John Pownell Shaw and Barbara Patricia Shaw at Anchor House Care Home
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A couple who have been married for over 60 years cried as they renewed their vows - after their daughter arranged a surprise ceremony.

John and Barbara Shaw, who are both residents at the Anchor House Care Home, Avenue Road, Wheatley, reconfirmed their love for each other in a moving ceremony on Monday January 2.

Wedding vow renewal for John Pownell Shaw and Barbara Patricia Shaw at Anchor House Care Home Rev Ian Rutherford from St Andrew's Methodist church conducted the ceremony

Wedding vow renewal for John Pownell Shaw and Barbara Patricia Shaw at Anchor House Care Home Rev Ian Rutherford from St Andrew's Methodist church conducted the ceremony

The day was made extra special because their daughter Elaine Taylor had arranged the day as a surprise - and it took place on John’s 89th birthday.

Elaine said: “My dad had said this was something he wanted to do for a while, so I decided to organise it as a surprise for a surprise.

“I texted my brother and sisters and they said they thought it was a good idea. There was nothing we could have given him, there’s no point in grand presents at their time of life and this was the only thing he really wanted.”

Elaine, a senior carer at the care home, organised the ceremony in less than a month, telling her dad that he would be getting a surprise present, but not revealing any details.

Dad texted me later to thank me for making one of his wishes come true

“He told me before that he was hoping and praying the present would be the vow renewal. I was itching to tell him. I wrote a separate card to say what I’d done and gave it to him after his birthday card. He cried when he read it. Then he told me he’d written what he we wanted on the back of another card. He showed it to me and it said vow renewal. “

The couple, who married at St Martin’s Church, Grimsby in 1954, sat and held hands throughout the ceremony as friends and family, including their three children, and some of their 13 grand children and nine great-grandchildren watched.

John, who suffers from brain and lung cancer, was visibly emotional as he repeated his vows after the vicar, turning to face his wife before he said each line.

Barbara, aged 82, who has dementia, was also tearful as she repeated her vows. When she said she renewed her commitment to John, her husband of 62 years, he squeezed her hand and wiped tears from his eyes.

Elaine added: “The ceremony was very emotional. I think mum was overwhelmed by it all. Dad texted me later to thank me for making one of his wishes come true.”

The couple will celebrate 63 years of marriage in March.