Ben Keenan on the joy of having something to celebrate

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This week, I’ve been thinking a lot about marriage. Not my own though, as I’d need to ask the editor of this fine paper to print an additional supplement to express in words my own happiness, because since the day I married my beautiful wife my feet haven’t touched the ground.

No, the marriage and subsequent wedding I’ve been thinking about took place in Sichuan Province, China, in 1924.

Wu Sognshi is 101 years young and his wife, also named Wu is 103. They promised to love honour and obey each other 88 years ago at a ceremony attended by family, friends and their pets, which is one of many good luck traditions found in every corner of Asia. There were no cameras anywhere near the area at the time to document the happy couple’s wedding, so memories made that day could only be recalled by remembering them as often as possible.

A few weeks ago, a man from their village who owned a clothes shop, began sorting some donations and came across an ancient wedding dress. In a flash he had a wonderful idea and, with the help of the entire village, arranged for the two Wus, their family, friends and pets to once again don their best bib and tucker and pose for the wedding photographs that they had always wanted but never gotten around to taking. When the pictures had been taken, the whole village celebrated and the mayor declared it a calendar day of good tidings to be observed every year.

At this point, you may be wondering what a story set in Sichuan Province, China, is doing in this week’s Bury Free Press and I’ll tell you. There are so many things that happen in this world that anger, confuse, mystify and scare us but once in a while, something happens which makes us smile. Like ripples on a vast lake, a smile can make its way around the entire planet and inspire everyone it passes to take a moment to think about all that is good, decent and worth celebrating in the world which, when you think about it, is a phenomenal amount!