THE GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY OF THE AGNIRS
Ruby and Ed Agnir had a wonderfully blessed celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary on April 30, 2011. It was held in the Fellowship Hall of Trinity Church of Wesley Chapel (FL). About 130 guests included friends and family from all over. The farthest was from Washington State. A cousin from Canada came with her family. This was Rossana, who was one of their three flower girls. The other flower girl who attended was their niece Eleanor Pascual from Atlanta. The couple was extremely happy to have the two of them come. Best man, Ruby's brother Sadiri, his wife Vangie, and Sadiri's son Jules came from Santa Clara, CA. The matron of honor, Ed's oldest sister, Esther Agnir Viernes, is in Tacloban, Leyte, and was ably represented by her daughter Eleanor who was referred to earlier. The only bridesmaid was Ruby's very close friend from UP, Susan Montepio (now Cumagun) of Norfolk, CA. The groomsman was Jerry Dadap, who is in the Philippines, too.
Prayers were given by two ministers -- the minister of the church they belong to (Trinity Church of Wesley Chapel) and the minister of Atonement Lutheran Church whose choir Ruby is the new director of.
Members of the couple's fraternal organizations -- Order of the Eastern Star, Ladies of the Oriental Shrine, and the Masons of Zephyr Lodge -- graced the affair with their presence. Some of these are members of the Zephyr Angels, a charitable organization of caterers, which provided the delicious meal.
The entertainment was all musical and, except for the Trinity choir's performance of Ruby's favorite anthem (Fettke's "The Majesty and Glory of Your Name") and a trio from the choir, all the numbers were performed by family. Ed's sister Ruth sang "Wanting You," and Ruby's sister Elsie (B.Mus. 1973) sang "Love Is Where You Find It" and the Philippine folksong "Lulay." The Agnir children (Mirla, Rowena and Ederick) sang a trio of "One Hand, One Heart" arranged by Rowena. The Rantanen-Curtiss (Rowena's) family played an ensemble piece of "Carol of the Bells," arranged for several instruments by the Agnirs' only grandson Steven. It was greatly applauded. Actually each number on the program was thorough enjoyed by the assembly.
The trio from Trinity Choir sang "Sunrise, Sunset," singing each line to either or both of the celebrants, which they found very touching. Ed and Ruby responded with a duet of their theme song, "Stranger in Paradise." They also sang "Without You," a song they both composed many years ago, Ruby the words and Ed the music. Printed copies of the song, complete with the couple's wedding picture on the cover, were given to the guests as their party favor.
Centerpiece for each table was a frame that held one of their wedding pictures. It was given as a prize for whomever was sitting in the chair that had a green dot. Awards were given to the couple married the longest (church friends who were married 60 years), the couple most recently married (daughter Mirla and her groom Bryan), and the family who came from the farthest (Ed's first cousin and his family from Washington State). Their long-time friend and "kumare," Ophelia Pantejo, along with SU alumna, Aurora Rausch, graced the occasion. Ophe is Rowena's godmother. Ed also introduced Cris Mina as Ruby's friend for the longest time since they were dormmates in UP more than 50 years ago.
From the feedback the couple continues to receive, everyone had a grand time -- which makes Ed very happy because this was practically his great project. He did and planned most everything, and Ruby says, "I just helped in any way I could, like decorating the tables and the hall."
Further, the celebration seemed to have overflowed into the Sunday service at Atonement Lutheran Church the next morning. The pastor figuratively shone the spotlight on the celebrants. He mentioned the milestone and the celebration held the day before, which apparently impressed him very much. Then he presented a gift from the church, a lovely multi-colored cross. In addition, one of Ruby's choir members presented them with an album containing pictures he took during the celebration the day before.
The anthem, Gaither's "I've Just Seen Jesus," and directed by Ruby, received a standing ovation with the longest applause from the congregation. Seven of the couple's family members, including Ruby's siblings, sis-in-law, and nephew, and Ed's sister and niece, sang with the choir.
It was truly a memorable occasion. All in all, everything was great and could be characterized by just two phrases -- quality entertainment and the warmest affection. The celebrants cannot doubt how much they are loved by their family members and the friends they have made in the seven years they have resided in Florida. God has truly blessed them and continues to do so.
Ruby and Ed thank those who sent cards and good wishes via e-mail and on their website. You are all invited to look at the Agnir website -- www.goldenagnir.myevent.com. There are a lot of pictures to view, all categorized as "Before We Met," "When We Met," and "Through the Years 1961-1972, 1972-1974, 1974-2004, 2004-the present." Some were taken at Silliman. You could also look at "Our Family" which includes pictures, with captions, of the couple's respective grandparents and parents and nuclear families.