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Brighton couple truly blessed


Among the many Catholic couples in the Adelaide Archdiocese celebrating significant wedding anniversaries this year are Brighton parishioners Fran and Frank Verrall.

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Fran first met Frank in 1958 during her last year of school. Frank was in his first year at Adelaide University and was introduced to Fran by his aunt, who was a friend of Fran’s mother, after the St Aloysius College concert.

Their first date was when Frank drove Fran home from the Christian Brothers College fete dance a few months later.

Fran began her teaching studies at Adelaide Teachers College, Kintore Avenue, in 1959, next door to the university campus.

“This meant us meeting up at lunch time in the refectory and hanging around with a group of school friends,” recalled Fran.

“There were a lot of balls to go to, the Teacher’s College, the SAC Debutante Ball (he was my partner), and various other balls, enjoying a great social uni life.

“We really were head over heels in love, and here we are 60 plus years later!”

At the end of her two years at college, Fran was sent to teaching posts in and around Port Pirie to fulfil her three-year obligation to the Education Department.

She travelled home to Adelaide most weekends by train or with friends who had cars and was transferred to Millbrook School in the third term of 1962.

After marrying in Rostrevor College Chapel on August 31 1963, the Verralls built a new house at Rostrevor, and then followed “our beautiful family of six children – Geoffrey, twins Robyn and Jacqueline, Terina, Marcus, and Andrew.

Frank and Fran on their wedding day.

Fran went back to work when Andrew turned four and decided that the preschool area was where she wanted to teach. She finally retired at the age of 65, after spending her last 10 years in the local district office as a Special Needs coordinator.

Frank discontinued Engineering studies to become a teacher, and was posted to Angle Park High School. He was seconded to the Education Department head office in 1965 to train in computing, in the first team to computerise payroll. Then the opportunity came to move to Mossman in north Queensland to head a team to computerise the sugar mill there, after which the family returned to Adelaide.

After moving to a larger house in Seacliff Park in 1975, Fran and Frank became Brighton parishioners and have been there ever since.

“We made many lifelong friends through the church and Southwest Region schools our children attended. We now have 10 grandchildren, three living in Melbourne, two in Sydney and two great-grandchildren living in Adelaide.”

Fran and Frank celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on the day with lunch with their wedding party, remembering some who are no longer with them. The following Sunday it was lunch with the family and then on September 17 they were bestowed with a blessing at Mass, by Fr Michael Kyumu. He presented them and other couples with a certificate from Archbishop Patrick O’Regan at the special marriage anniversaries Mass in recognition of their “continuing love and dedication to the vocation of married life”.

“We have had a wonderful life, full of love and happiness, with some sadness and occasional ups and downs,” Fran said.

“We have received many blessings from God. We have been sustained by the love of our parents, our siblings and our friends.

“The love of our children and their families have been the joy of our lives. And now we have a fourth generation to love and be loved. We truly have been blessed.”


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