Family Keepsakes: Mum & Dad’s Engagement Guest Book

Last night I found myself looking through the bookshelf in our family room, as you do at 10pm at night! In it I found some rather random things, a copy of a tax return, my Year 3 homework book (I wish I was kidding) and most interestingly, my parents engagement guest book.



Bound by my Pop Peace, it is a beautiful book full of signatures of the guests, a list of the gifts and who they were from, cards and photos.





I instantly messaged my parents, who are currently overseas to say I’d found the book, to which Mum replied “I forgot we even had one…what’s in it?” I found it particularly exciting to see the faces of some of the people I’ve been researching. Some who I’d known, some who are no longer with us.

Mum and Dad with Uncle Barry and Aunty June
Nana McBride (seated left) Nana McBride is the daughter of the ancestor who loves to evade me, Samuel West.
Mum and Dad with Great Pop (who I’ve mentioned in the blog post Great Pop’s Coins)


It appears that my Pa Bate, Mum’s Dad wrote her and Dad a song–it’s written neatly within these pages:

“On a bright sunny morning while at Blue Lagoon,

There was Brian, a shyin’, he was sighin’

Arthur said to him ‘Brian get with it and soon 

Stop lying and cryin’ and sighin’

There’s a really nice chick mate now try and be fast,

So jump to your feet mate she’s just comin’ past’

With a half hearted effort “Where is she?” He asked

Then he stopped cryin’ and sighin’ and dyin’


He slapped at his chest as this beauty walked past

She’d been cryin’ and sighin’ and dyin’

For her sunburn decided that this was the last

holiday she’d be lyin’ and fryin’.

When their eyes met they knew and a gurgle they gave,

Then they plunged themselves into the billowing wave,

And we all heaved a sigh from their rot we’d be saved,

All that cryin’ and sighin’ and dyin’


Now I feel just as sure as their name will be Peace,

With no cryin’ and sighin’ I’m not lyin’

Cause now they’ve announced it, it’s quite a release,

From sighin’ and cryin’ and ask whyin’

And if theirs is a love that I’m sure will survive,

They’ll weather life’s storms and valiantly strive,

To enjoy life together and keep love alive,

They’ll be sighin and sighin’ and sighin’.


I love that tribute! And so their love has survived, nearly 30 years now they have been married!!

Keepsakes such as these are incredibly important. I love looking through the pages of this book and seeing how loved my parents are as individuals and as a couple, as well as seeing how well my two families merged and have remained so over the years.


Pop, Mum, Dad, Nan, Aunty Sharon.
Aunty Fi, Nan, Pa, Mum, Dad and Aunty Cath

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Vicki Marr says:

    Just lovely sweetheart.


  2. Nancy Brenton says:

    Thanks for showing us some recent history. I remember your Mum and her sisters when they were all very small.


    1. I loved looking through this book Nancy! Mum, Aunty Cath and Aunty Fi were all so cute as kids!


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