Charles and Nancy were married on December 25, 1849. They celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary, December 25th, 1899. A brief announcement about the anniversary was in the Colonist on December 15th, 1899. "Mr. and Mrs. Charles Alexander, of Lake Hill, formerly of Saanich, will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary on Christmas day."
The celebration on Christmas day, at their home in Lake Hill with family and friends, was then reported at length in the Colonist on December 28th, 1849.
Colonist, pg 5. – December 28, 1899
"Unusual Celebration Held at Lake Hill on Christmas Day"
The following is a transcript of the article at the left. It tells details of the anniversary celebration, toasts, attendees and gifts.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Alexander, of Lake Hill, formerly of Saanich, who celebrated their golden wedding on Christmas Day, were married in Springfield Illinois, on December 25, 1849. Twelve children were born to them, of whom seven are still living, and besides they have 21 grandchildren. With the exception of one daughter all were present at the celebration for which their home was prettily decorated. The couple came to Victoria in 1858 and have since resided on the Island. Among the callers on Monday were:” Mr. John Tolmie, the Misses Tolmie, Postmaster and Mrs. Noah Shakespeare, Ald. And Mrs. Hayward, Mrs. And Miss Spotts, Mr. P. Spotts sr. Mr. H. Young, Mr. and Mrs. J. Simpson, Mr. and Mrs. J. Barnswell, Mrs. L.A. Booth, Miss M. Estes, Mr. and Mrs. J. Stuart Yates, Mr. T.W. Pierre, Mr. J.T. Pierre and daughter Mr. H. King, Mrs. Monk sr.. Mr. and Mrs Monk, Mr. and Mrs. Bamfeld, Mr. H. Carter, Mr. H.D. Helmcken, M.P.P., Miss Maude Goodwin and Mr. D.D. McTavish.
The health of the couple was proposed by Mr. H.D. Helmcken, who congratulated them on the event, one of the few of the kind held in this section of the country. He spoke of the esteem in which they were held and hoped that they would long be spared.
The list of gifts:
Mrs. G.A. McTavish and Mrs. W.R. Higgins, gold belt; Mr. and Mrs. R.T. Clanton, gold ice cream dish; Miss C. Spotts, gold mug; Mrs. Charles. Spotts, gold cream jug; Ald. And Mrs. Charles Hayward, gold flower pot; Mr. and Mrs. Newcomb, cake plate and cheque; Mr. T.W. Pierre, gold tea set; Mr. and Mrs. Noah Shakespeare, gold salad spoon; Mr. and Mrs. Barnswell, pair gold mugs; Mrs. L.A. Booth, pair gold vases; Mr. and Mrs. S. Carter, butter bowl; Mrs. T. Spotts sr., gold brooch; Mrs. M. Estes, gold cup and saucer; Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Yates, gold fruit bowls; Mr. and Mrs. Debain, gold spoon; Mr. and Mrs. J. Simpson, vases and stand; Mr. and Mrs. H. King, silk handkerchief and cash; the Misses Tolmie, gold brooch; Mr. John Tolmie, gold cuff buttons; Dr. and Mrs. S.F. Tolmie, gold picture frame; Mr. Herbert Carter, cup and saucer; Mr. and Mrs. H.D. Helmcken, gold spoons; Mr. J.T. Pierre, cheque; Mr. H. Young (Saanich), cheque; Mr. and Mrs. Monk, cheque; Mr. T. Alexander, cheque; Mr. and Mrs. D.R. Ker, pincushion; Mrs. A. Scott, pincushion; Mr. and Mrs. Bamfield, cash; Mr. and Mrs. G.W. Anderson, cash.
The evening was spent after a glorious supper in singing and dancing, the merry party not ending up till early hours in the morning.
Colonist, The Islander - December 23, 1962
"Christmas Dinner for 50 cents"
This article, written by James K. Nesbitt, tells about some of the traditions of Christmas in the 1800’s. The article includes the story of Charles and Nancy’s golden wedding anniversary in 1899. The picture at the right of Charles and Nancy appeared in this 1962 newspaper article with the caption “Mr. and Mrs. Charles Alexander … they were a coloured couple but their gifts were gold.”
Read the full story of Charles and Nancy here.