June 2009 – Four weddings and a funeral

June Meeting report
Four Weddings and a Funeral was the subject Mrs Jane Parker came to speak to us about at our June meeting. Mrs Parker is a registrar and works for the Suffolk Registration service which concerns itself with the births, marriages and deaths in the area. She feels it is an honour to fulfill this role and finds it constantly interesting as she meets all types of people from right across the spectrum, ranging from royals to the homeless to immigrants swearing an oath of loyalty to this country,
Up to now the registration method has been very traditional, and consisted of pen and ink in hardback ledgers. The ink is very permanent but changes colour over time so that later additions to earlier entries are glaringly obvious. However the government decided this was too old fashioned and is in the process of introducing a computerized system. When this was launched a few weeks back, it worked for two days and then crashed. They think that they have now ironed out the gremlins and so it is due to be reintroduced.
The number of births registered last year was 7459, and 44% of these were to unmarried parents. The name Jack is the most popular for boys at the moment followed by Oliver, Harry, Alfie, Charlie, Thomas, Daniel, James and William. Among the girls Olivia is the most popular, followed by Ruby, Grace, Emily, Jessica, Sophie, Cloe, Lilly, Mia and Lucy. The number of deaths registered last year was 6380, but the year before it was 6400 and the year before that 6500 so the number is declining.
When it comes to weddings all sorts of things can go wrong. She has had fainting bridegrooms, incontinent bridesmaids, wedding rings that don’t fit, wedding bouquets left at home. Best men and grooms usually wear matching outfits and she is afraid that one day she is going to marry the bride to the best man. When the groom sees the bride coming up the aisle his reaction is usually one of undisguised admiration. However when one bride was late because she was unable to get ready, having locked herself out of the house, the bridegroom’s first words were “You stupid woman——!”
At the end of this very interesting talk we were set a quiz on the subject of ‘Love and Marriage’ and then finished with our usual tea, cakes and a chat.



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