Wednesday 17 July 2019

'A few portions of fish and chips' secret to long and happy marriage says Bishoffs as they celebrate 70 years

Tommy (93) and Martha Bishoff (90) first met in his parent's chip shop in Dublin, and tied the knot in 1948

Tommy and Martha Bishoff
Tommy and Martha Bishoff
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

A couple who this month celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary say positive mental attitude, good exercise and a few portions of fish and chips are the secret to their longevity.

Tommy (93) and Martha Bishoff (90) tied the knot on September 13, 1948, in Harold's Cross, but their marriage was tested in its early days.

"Mam and dad decided to emigrate to Canada for better opportunities and the first difficulty they had was that the registrar had recorded their name wrong on the marriage certificate," their daughter, also Martha, said.

"We are actually Beshoffs. My grandfather came to Dublin from Russia and set up the first Beshoff chip shop in Dublin.

"When our parents got married, the registrar put a dot over the 'e' on the certificate and we became Bishoffs.

"They were going to change it but it would have taken around six weeks. They had their tickets booked to go to Canada so it was easier to travel under the new name."

Tommy and Martha Bishoff

Tommy and Martha met in the chip shop on Sundrive Road. Tommy was working in the family business when Martha came to work for them at the age of 16.

"When they went to Toronto they lived in a one-bed apartment and dad got work in a chocolate factory. My oldest brother Ivan was born over there," said Martha.

"But when mam was pregnant with Danny she got very homesick and decided to come home to have him. Dad came home around 18 months later and they started back in the fish and chip business. Dad did miss Canada. He was a promising wrestler over there and had a lot of friends, but he never went back.

"I've been told when dad went to Niagara Falls after mam came home he met Marilyn Monroe there and she asked, 'What's a good looking guy like you doing here?'," Martha says with a smile.

The Bishoffs and Beshoffs had a party for Tommy and Martha for their platinum milestone, which included three great grandchildren.

"Dad idolises my mother. He was always very romantic and affectionate. They can't really believe they have made it to 70 years of marriage," said Martha.


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