Grace Fowlie and Melville Watson were married September 2, 1934. This (2016) would have been their 82nd wedding anniversary had they lived this long–and Mel would have been 105 and Grace 106 as of September 2nd. Amazing to think of that!!
Grace and Mel first met as children in the Gap View. In fact, Mel’s sister Jessie Ruby was one of Grace’s best friends. The Watsons moved in and out of the Gap View area, spending some time in BC and eventually settling in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan where both Grace and Mel lived in boarding houses for a while. Presumably, this is when whatever childhood interest between them began to turn into the love that brought them to their wedding day.
We have no wedding photo of them for a few reasons. ONE of the reasons we don’t have a wedding photo of them is that they were married SECRETLY!! Yup.! That’s right. Secretly.
In the 1930s, the Depression years, the law did not allow married women to work, presumably because it took jobs away from men or from folk with no other source of income. However, Grace was a Career Woman and loved it. She won a medal at one point for her excellent work for Metropolitan Life in Moose Jaw and she didn’t want to quit her job.
Apparently (and luckily for us!!), she also didn’t want to be without Melville. So they were married in a private ceremony in a minister’s home. He continued to live in Regina while she remained in Moose Jaw. The only family member who knew of this wedding for some months was Grace’s sister Lily, who was her roommate at the time (so she kind of had to be let in on the secret . . .).
The photos at the lead here, I believe, were taken in 1932 so each would have a photo of the other while Mel was up north of Saskatoon working on a farm for a time. I think they were a fabulous-looking couple! She was 4’11” and he was 5’9″. Perfect.
NOTE: Grace deliberately kept her maiden name after their wedding, incorporating the “Fowlie” into her given names. Thus, when she filled in official forms and such, she would write: Elizabeth Grace Victoria Fowlie Watson. Sassy thing!