MECHANIC FALLS – Bill and Janice Slattery of West Minot recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a large gathering of family and friends at the Silver Spur Banquet Hall in Mechanic Falls.

The surprise event was planned by their son, Wayne, and his wife, Joni Slattery, daughter-in-law Audrey Slattery, grandchildren John, Brandon, Matt and Jake Slattery, Michael Stevens and fiancee, Shannon, along with friends Janet and Rodney Bernier.

The couple and their family formed a receiving line and were greeted and congratulated by the many guests who were there to surprise them. They were truly surprised. Guests were then treated to a buffet luncheon, which was prepared by the couple’s daughter-in-law, Joni, and her mother, Virginia. Everyone enjoyed the delicious as well as bountiful food choices.

Family members of the couple were all seated at the head table. This included Mr. Slattery’s mother, Doris, who was so happy to be celebrating the event with them. The table was decorated with gold and white accents and a floral centerpiece. There were also fresh garden flowers on all of the guest tables, with more gold and white trimmings and balloons and wedding bells throughout the hall.

After the luncheon, old fashioned dance music was provided by the Jones Band, a band that was recently formed and one that the couple enjoy. Bill and Janice pleased everyone by dancing the first dance to one of their favorite songs “May I Have this Dance for the Rest of my Life.” They have long enjoyed going to the old-time dances in Cumberland, South Paris or wherever they might be playing the kind of dance music that they love.

They were very surprised and pleased to find so many of the friends who they have made over the years at these dances were on hand to celebrate with them, as well as so many other friends and family members. After their first dance, the dance floor was soon full of couples who enjoyed dancing for the rest of the afternoon.

The anniversary cake, decorated with yellow roses and also adorned with a wedding photo of the couple and their parents, brought back many poignant memories for everyone. As they had on their wedding day, the couple cut the first pieces of cake and “carefully” fed each other a piece.

The event was made more special for them as all of their grandchildren except Katie, who lives in Arizona, were able to attend; Brandon, home from the Marines, John, who had recently graduated from St. Lawrence University, Matt, home from Wentworth College, Jake, a high school student and Mike and Shannon from North Berwick. Chase, their little great-grandson was also there to surprised them.

Mr. Slattery and the former Janice Millett were married June 14, 1958, at the Norway Congregational Church. Prior to her retirement, she had served as postmaster at the West Minot Post Office. Mr. Slattery still works in the woods and also enjoys helping his son, Wayne, during the maple syrup season, and working in their large vegetable produce garden in the summer.

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