Staff at Tallington Lodge Care Home, near Stamford made one of their residents ‘make a wish’ come true hosting a renewal of wedding vows for residents John and June Baker. As part of the Country Court ‘Make a Wish’ initiative residents are asked if they have any special wishes. John told Chantal DeVries Wellbeing Co-ordinator at Tallington Lodge how his wish was to renew his wedding vows with his beautiful wife June. The staff team rallied round, Rosanna Smith, Wellbeing Co-ordinator who is an experienced wedding planner was on hand to make sure the day was extra special. The team arranged the renewal for 9th February, the couple’s 66th Wedding Anniversary. John was keen for the event to be a surprise for June, who is also a resident at the care home.
Staff managed to organise everything in secret, so it was a surprise for June, in accordance with John’s wishes. June and John both said, “We are overwhelmed and quite emotional with the response we have had for the wedding, and we are so grateful for what everyone has done here at Tallington Lodge.”
On the day, the team treated June to a pampering session and then informed her of what else had been arranged for the afternoon. They organised a wonderful ceremony, with decorations donated by staff and families at the care home. It took place in the Wellard Suite so the other residents and family members could attend and share in the wonderful and touching ceremony. The room looked fantastic with a flower arch and blossom trees to set the scene. Thanks to Stephen Robertson, Home Administrator at Tallington Lodge June even got to take a ride in a luxury car, making it feel even more special.
The service was held by Father Michael, Vicar at St Mary’s Church in Stamford together with Donald Gray, a resident at Tallington Lodge who used to be a vicar in Stamford who read a blessing for the couple. Donald’s daughter Clare put together the order of service and helped to organise the proceedings.
The day finished with a delicious buffet, champagne and a beautiful wedding cake, baked by Steve Soames, the Chef Manager at Tallington Lodge. Commenting on the day Home Manager Manju Panankavil said, ”It was our pleasure to make John’s wish happen, they are a wonderful and very devoted couple. We were all touched by his wish to express how much he loves his wife by renewing their vows and only too happy to help make it happen. Our staff team did a fantastic job of decorating the home, providing wonderful food and bringing everyone together to celebrate.”
John and June first met in 1953 when June and her friend bumped into John at a train station in the evening after attending night school. John was a sailor in the Navy and had the evening off to visit family. They chatted and exchanged addresses as John was leaving in the morning for four years to complete his service in the Navy in Malta. June didn’t think she would hear from him again but one evening when she arrived home from work, she found that John had written her a letter to say that he would be returning to the UK for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
They met up and for the next four years they became pen pals with their relationship becoming more serious. They got married on the 9th of February 1957 with a ceremony at the Fulham Townhall with a few friends and family.
The couple later moved to Portsmouth where John was stationed, but after his nine years in the Navy they moved to his hometown, Stamford where they lived until moving to Tallington Lodge.
June said, “It’s been a beautiful long journey where fate played a role.”