Humber Valley Terrace celebrates love with wedding vow renewals

When resident Mary O’Hearn approached Humber Valley Terrace’s Recreation Manager Emily Viray last year to tell her of her upcoming 24th wedding anniversary with her husband Tom (also a resident) she had no idea what was to come.

Almost immediately, Emily’s wheels starting turning as she thought about what she could do to create an unforgettable day for them this year, for their 25th anniversary. Bringing the idea to the home’s January 2015 Activity Planning Meeting where special events are mapped out for the year, the group decided it would be great to have the home’s two other couples participate as well. And so, the planning of the “Humber Valley Terrace Day of Wedding Vow Renewals” began.

The vow renewal celebrations were originally planned for this July, but had to be pushed until the end of August due to a respiratory outbreak at the home. Though everyone involved was initially disappointed, it just allowed them extra time to ensure everything was a great success!

The staff at Humber Valley Terrace (a Revera home) went above and beyond to make this day special for the three couples, including renting a tent, decorations, flowers and an arch for the ceremony held in their courtyard. 

“This was better than our real wedding 60 years ago!” said resident George Scott, who was happy to renew his vows with his wife Vera after 61 years of marriage. 

Humber Valley Terrace pulled out all the stops, bringing in a volunteer pastor from the Missionary Alliance, Don Dearlove, to officiate for the ceremony. A long-time friend of the O'Hearns and having been the pastor who met with Thomas and Mary for their wedding 25 years ago, he was thrilled to attend, and was joined by the home's chaplain for the ceremonies. Residents, family and staff gathered to celebrate the occasion as each of the couples recited spe
eches to each other and renewed their vows. 

“The event was very special,” said Daisy, who was celebrating 70 years of marriage with her husband Alfred. “We were both so happy to be there and are thankful for the beautiful gown and Alfred’s shirt and tie.” 

The home’s Executive Director Andrew Shinder presented each couple with a congratulatory certificate signed by Premier Kathleen Wynne and their MPP Dr. Shafiq Qaadri. And of course, what is a wedding without cake cutting, wine drinking (or grape juice in this case), and lots of good food!

“It was an amazingly perfect, lovely wedding,” said Mary. “I felt the warmth of the staff who attended and I just don’t have enough words to express my appreciations for the dedication and effort that went into this.”

Even the cloudy skies couldn’t keep the group down. 

“We were waiting for the rain to fall but as soon as the ceremony started, the sun came out from the dark clouds and they opened up like a blessing from our dear Lord,” said George. 

Emily could not have been happier with the way the event went. 

“It was so nice for me to know I made a difference in their lives by celebrating such a big occasion,” said Emily. “These residents definitely felt the love and were so grateful.”

Congratulations to the happy couples! 

In photos, top to bottom: Alfred and Daisy Lucarelli, married 70 years; Vera and George Scott, married 61 years; Mary and Thomas O'Hearn, married 25 years.