Riverton couple finds recipe for a long and happy life together


Eddie (91) and Rina (90) Holmes are celebrating their 71st wedding anniversary.
Eddie (91) and Rina (90) Holmes are celebrating their 71st wedding anniversary.

NINETY years ago, Rina Holmes’ home and playground was in a castle perched on the edge of the River Clyde in Port of Glasgow.

Her mother died in childbirth, so she was raised by her father and grandparents in the “very lonely” castle that was originally built to cater for Sir Patrick Maxwell’s family of 16 children.

Rina’s grandfather was the castle’s custodian and Rina said she looked forward to going to school, where she met Eddie Holmes whom she married in June 1946.

The pair celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary this year and reminisced about the day they said their vows while both in uniform inside the castle’s Great Room.

With their first child aged four years and the second just nine months, they boarded a ship for Australia, where Mr Holmes’ skills as a builder flourished.

But their arrival at Fremantle Port brought tears to the eyes of Mrs Holmes.

“There was a sign that said ‘Go Home You Bloody Poms’,” she said.

“But we can only speak highly of how we were treated.”

They lived in tradesmen flats on Epsom Street in Belmont and Mr Holmes went bush to build shearing sheds for farmers, who were making a tidy living from wool.

Together they raised six children, who all still live in Perth, and the family has flourished with 14 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandie on the way.

Many have returned to Scotland to visit Newark Castle, which is now a tourist highlight.

Mr Holmes, who turns 91 next month, said the key for their longevity was “homemade soup and porridge” and he said constant communication was important for a long-lasting marriage.

The couple have lived in Riverton for 12 years.

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