The Legation’s Last Wedding

TALIM Crawfords - 1

Early this month, the Legation had the honor of special visitors, Ron & Sydney Crawford, pictured above.  They had preceded their visit with this email:

TALIM Crawford CertMarriageMy husband and I were married at the American Consulate on October 3, 1956. The Consul at the time said that we were one of the last to be able
to be married under the laws of the United States.
  We are returning to Tangier this October and staying for
several days.  Would like to visit the building as it is our
understanding that this was the home of the Consulate those many years
  We will bring our marriage certificate with us and perhaps will be able to remember the room where we had the ceremony.
If you click on the "Certificate of Witness to Marriage," you can make out the name of Vice Consul Charles J. Konya, who officiated.  Tangier was just about to begin its long transition from International Zone to Moroccan city, with independence just weeks later.  The University of Miami students were all of 20 and 21 years old.

TALIM Crawford Marriage CaribeeUMMagPg1EditBack to the Crawfords

We had sailed from Miami in July, 1956 on a 92 ft schooner, working
as crew as well as making a film for the skipper of the boat.  Traveling
down the coast of Spain we thought how wonderful to be married and have
the rest of the sailing trip as part of our honeymoon.  

We learned that Tangier was the only place in Europe where we could have a ceremony under US law. The
Consul General, who arranged the wedding explained that we would be
one of the last couples able to do this as their "Extraterritorial
Rights" were ending the same week. That may have been the time that the
Embassy changed its status

Yes, Tangier was officially reintegrated into Morocco on October 29, 1956.  The Legation had already reverted to Consulate General status in June 1956.

Click on the University of Miami newsletter story for a better image of the young couple, whose time in Tangier was a complicated way to start out a marriage:

TALIM Crawfords - 2 cropped"Visiting Monaco, the couple decided to elope, and flew to Tangiers, Africa, where they were married for $16.  Immediately after the wedding, Ronny discovered that he was broke.  The only solution was to leave Sydney in a hotel and rush back to Europe for some more money.  All this took place on their wedding night.  Moaned Sydney: 'I'll bet we were the only couple in history separated by two continents on their wedding night.'"
57 years later, the experience doesn't seem to have harmed their relationship.  Wrote Sydney: "It was such a dream come true to have been able to return to the place of our wedding."  Happy anniversary, Ron and Sydney!

Ron Crawford on IMDb.

Gerald Loftus

2 thoughts on “The Legation’s Last Wedding”

  1. Mr. Loftus,
    Your work with Talimblog is exceptional in every way: articulate, interesting, wide-ranging, informative. The fact that it reflects what Talim is doing, and doing very well indeed, is equally impressive. I guess that this can be summed up by simply saying ‘I am Impressed by, and Grateful for your efforts. Sincere congratulations, and warm regards.
    Ed Peck
    FSI Arabic Language School, Tangier, 1961-63

  2. Wow- What a fun story! I had no idea you were married in Tangiers. My sonToby is 21 and I am trying to imagine him being married. Trying, trying……nope, no can do. Actually, said son is living and studying in Sevilla, Spain for three months, and has been to Morocco twice. I have a small leather bag that smells of camel pee to prove it, along with photos of him atop a camel (same one??).
    Thanks for sharing the story and the photos, new and old. Congratulations on your anniversary, and on your long and happy marriage!

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