Left Waiting at the Church


A Brace of Bouiderites Kept Waiting at the Matrimonial Starting Barrier— For the Parson who ” Forgot.” 11th April 1909

Bride and Groom

Bride and Groom

A NOW HAPPY PAIR (since they are married) who, for the best part of an hour, on Wednesday afternoon last, feared that their chance of enjoying connubial bliss on the day they had calculated upon doing so was “a blue duck,” went through the novel experience (in so far as those on the fields are concerned) of being kept waiting for the parson. The reverend gentlemen who had undertaken to perform the arithmetical problem of making two into one at All Saints Anglican Church, Collins-street, Piccadilly, didn’t put in an appearance at all.

He might have written to the temporarily unhappy pair the refrain of the music-hall song — ” Can’t get away to marry you today. My wife won’t let me !'” had he been a married man— which he isn’t. Being a bachelor such an excuse couldn’t possibly serve.

The bride and bridegroom dead heated in arriving at the church, driving in from Boulder by cab. Some ten or a dozen friends of the families blew along with the principals and these were no less astonished than the bride and groom to find the church locked. Knocking, they were admitted by a char lady who explained that she was at the moment busy cleaning up for the Good Friday , service and that she knew naught of “any wedding or such like goings on fixed for that afternoon”. There couldn’t be anything arranged, or t’parson’d have sure to have let me know, said the dame. Casually she looked over the bridal party from top to toe, and appeared to suspect that it was an elopement case. “So there” the char-lady conclusively finished up.

All Saints Church, Collins Street, Piccadilly

All Saints Church, Collins Street, Piccadilly

The waggish best man (who may be tamed before the year is out— by matrimony for his sins) promptly began humming “Here I was Waiting at the Church” The bride wept.  The bridegroom looked glum and disappointed. The two mothers-in-law crossed their arms and transfixed the husband-to-be with a glare which unmistakably said —” Fool,” and then they fell to blaming the poor devil for not having reminded the parson that morning of his important engagement for the afternoon. The bridegroom’s excuse that he had spent the morning hunting for the mislaid wedding ring only further disturbed the equanimity of the mothers-in-law. The old char lady shut the church door and went on with her scrubbing.  Nearly an hour elapsed before she reappeared before the worried bridal party waiting in the church grounds, the curious gaping of passers-by ‘being suffered by them patiently’. ” Mebbe,” suggested the char-lady, ” you could tellyphone to the Rector and git the parson. Over there (indicating a private house half a mile off) is a tellyphone.”

The bridegroom, all anxious to make good with his ma-in-law elected sprinted over to the house with the ‘ tellyphone and rang up 212 Kalgoorlie. ” Yes,” that was the Rectory, but ” the Rev. Mr. Ricardo wasn’t in— he wasn’t likely to be in all the afternoon either,” was the answer. But Archdeacon McClemans was at home and would he do? was asked.”

Would he do ? — Would he not ?” yelled the growing hysterical bridegroom, and promptly the venerable reverend head of St Johns spoke on the phone and undertook to cab it out to All Saints to perform the ceremony.  Arriving back at All Saints the bridegroom was greeted with the chorus of the song above quoted by a band of schoolkids who enjoyed the spectacle of a wedding party being delayed. Ten minutes later the Archdeacon arrived and the wedding eventuated. Three hours later, at the wedding breakfast, the funny man of the party was allowed full play in cracking quips concerning the delayed ceremony. Parson Ricardo’s explanation of his absence, when forthcoming, was to the effect that the time quite slipped his memory.” (:

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My name is Moya Sharp, I live in Kalgoorlie Western Australia and have worked most of my adult life in the history/museum industry. I have been passionate about history for as long as I can remember and in particular the history of my adopted home the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. Through my website I am committed to providing as many records and photographs free to any one who is interested in the family and local history of the region.

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  1. Geniaus’ GEMS led me to this post. I love getting my brain to work in different ways. I started reading the article thinking it was set in London and then I saw Boulder and thought, no maybe it’s the U.S. and then I read your bio and thought….hang on …and googled Piccadilly and Boulder and find that they’re in WA too….now I’m not so ignorant. Thanks 🙂

  2. Davina Dodds says:

    Was the couple named?

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