Ted met Tessie during a trip to Australia on the Port Phillip in 1951. His ship was moored in Hobart for two weeks and he met Tessie and her sister, Mollie, while working on the dock.
“The wharf, in those days, there were so many people walking around it” he said.
“So many boats — there were boats everywhere.
“I was busy fixing up the gangplank and these two nice young ladies were walking along. I thought ‘oh, they look all right’ and before I knew it I had a date with one of them — Tessie’s sister Mollie.”
During that trip Ted spent some time with Mollie, and left his address with the sisters incase one of them wanted to write to him after he departed.
Ted later received a letter from Tessie informing him that Mollie had gotten married to a George Reilly and had a child, Tony Reilly. George was the first person Mollie married, there would be more!
Ted later returned to Hobart on a trip with the Port Napier. With Mollie out of the picture this time he spent time with the “other sister”.
“I was back again in six months in 1952, and then it was Tessie’s turn!” he said.
The two enjoyed their time together until it was time for Ted to get back on the ship and go to the next port. Although they had only known each other briefly, Tessie made quite an impression on Ted, prompting him to write a special letter to the Hobart lass.
“We got on well together, even though she was so far away,” he said.
“While I was away after that I popped the question to her, and she automatically said yes.
“Naturally my mother wasn’t very happy, but she didn’t know who I was thinking about marrying.”
And so began the task of planning when the pair would be married.
“I knew roughly when I was going to be in Melbourne,” Ted said.
“I thought I was going to be in Hobart the next time around, but from New Zealand we went to Melbourne — we weren’t going to Hobart — so I had to get a ferry across. It was on an old ship called the Taroona, she was a lovely old ride!”
Ted checked into the Mustard Pot upon his arrival on March 30, and the couple were married the next day.
“We went to the registry office and got married there, and we had our honeymoon at the Mustard Pot,” Ted said.
“After that I went back to England, but I had a bit of trouble getting a boat as an immigrant — a ten pound pom.
“I did another little trip around Africa, about twenty ports. When I got back I rang Australia House and they told me I’d be on my way in nine days.”