Wow, this article from way back. But you MUST see the link for their wedding photo (hint: it is related to tennis).
TROVE: digitized newspapers and more
Rod lost plane and
By GEORGE McGANN
World professional champion
Rod Laver, more nervous than he
had ever been on the centre court
at Wimbledon, stood with his
bride, Mary, in St. Luke's Presby-
terian Church, at San Rafael,
Calfornia, to say "I do" in a
wedding ceremony witnessed by
the cream of the professional
Australian players and their
wives and children all but out
numbered Americans in the church and
it the champagne-sparked reception at
the Peacock Gap Country Club.
Rod's best man was Kevin Sullivan, of
Sydney, a former tennis player who now
manages Jack Kramer's Los Serranos Golf
club near Los Angeles.
Mary's maid-of-honor was Lois Laver,
Rod's 21-year-old sister.
Other Australians in attendance were
Daphne and Mal Anderson and their two
children; Wilma and Ken Rosewall; Joan
Mackay, Sydney-born wife of American
player Barry Mackay, and their children;
and Lew Hoad.
Rod's jitters at the church were the result
of a harrowing series of experiences which
began the day before in St. Louis, half a
With his mind obviously elsewhere, Laver
lost the final singles match of the St. Louis
tournament He went back on the court soon
afterwards w ith Andres Gimeno and lost a
tree-set do ibles final to Hoad and Rosewall.
The long afternoon of tennis cut Laver's
time schedule to a dangerous margin. He
had booked on an early evening flight to San
Francisco for his wedding next day. But on
the way to the airport Rod and Lew Hoad
ran out of petrol in their rented car and
missed the plane.
They had to wait four hours at the St. Louis
airport for the next flight to California.
"We were both dying for a beer," Hoad
recalled later. "But it was a Sunday night
in Missouri and the beer was off."
Ran across tarmac
The two players arrived at San Francisco
3 a.m. on the wedding day. As they were
making arrangements to rent a car, Laver
suddenly clutched his pocket and shouted, "I
left my ticket on the plane."
He dashed across the tarmac at top speed
just as the plane was being towed off to a
hangar after a good deal of arguing he was
allowed aboard the plane, where he found his
ticket on the seat he had recently occupied.
The ticket - for the forthcoming pro-
ffesional European and African tour - was
worth more than 3000 dollars,
Laver finally fell into bed at 5 a.m., but
was up a few hours later attending to the
details of the 5 p.m. wedding.
Despite Rod's jitters, the wedding went
without a hitch.
None of the immediate family of the bride,
the former Mary Benson, of Corona Del
Mar California, was at the wedding.
Rod is 27 Mary admits to being past 30,
but "I'm not saying by how much."
two of her three teenage children by a
An arch of crossed racquets for former Australiern Davis Cup star
Rod Laver and his bride, Mary, after their wedding in St. Luke's
Presbyterian Church in San Rafael, California.
former marriage were visiting their grand-
parents in Florida. Her older son, Ronald,
a student at the University of South Cali-
fornia, was preparing for examinations.
Mary plans to accompany Rod for the
next five months as the pros tour North
America, Europe, and Africa. They will be
back in California in December to spend the
Christmas holidays with the children at
Mary's home in Corona Del Mar, where
they will live for the next few years.
After the children have graduated from
California schools, Mary and Rod plan to
move to Brisbane, where he recently built
a group of home units at Kangaroo Point.
Footnote: Rod's mother, Mrs. Roy Laver,
of Gladstone, Qld., told us: "The wedding
was a surprise in a way, because Rod is so
casual, but we had a fair idea it would be
"Mary is very attractive, quite tall, with
dark hair, and a very nice girl. My husband
and I are very happy for them.
"We feel that if Rod is not marrying an
Australian girl, we are delighted he is marry
ing Mary. We came to know her when she
stayed with us in Gladstone for about a fort
night last February.
"Rod said he and Mary would be back
and forth as usual for tennis tournaments.
So we will see just as much of Rod, but will
have the additional pleasure of seeing Mary,
Champagne for Rod and Mary, the former Mrs. Mary
Benson. At left, Mary and her children by her previous
marriage drink a toast in grape juice to Ann Marie's birthday.
The children are Ann Marie, Stephen (standing), and Ronald.