Today’s Republic Day observance will be a special one for Bertrand and Claudia Joseph.
The Paramin couple, who celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on February 15, will be featured in the documentary 70 Years Together at the TT Film Festival.
The documentary will be shown at MovieTowne’s cineplexs in Port-of-Spain, San Fernando and Tobago, beginning from 1 pm.
The Josephs’ grand-daughter, Cassandra, told Sunday Newsday her grandparents story was inspirational and felt it should be shown to the world as an example of how married couples should live in an age where, according to recent statistics, the average marriage lasts only three years.
Cassandra said she was grateful her grand-parents were still alive to celebrate the milestone.
“It is unheard of for both people to be alive because one partner is usually deceased. It is something we take fro granted because a lot of people do not have their grandparents around,” she said. Cassandra said her grandparents have led by example.
“They get up at a certain time and they don’t eat any fast foods, white chicken as they say. The use a lot of organic stuff and I believe their lifestyle is the secret to their longevity.”
She said her grandparents, devout Catholics, were exemplars in the community and deserved to be featured.
“People always ask them about their secret to a long and happy married life and what advice they could give to young married couples. So, we believe that reaching this blessing is really a milestone.”
Married in 1947, at ages 23 and 19, respectively, Bertrand and Claudia wore traditional creole wear, a dress code they repeated when they celebrated their anniversary in February.
Bertrand is a retired senior nurse, who worked at St Ann’s Hospital, while Claudia managed the household. The couple raised five children
Today, the Josephs, who still live at their home in Paramin, are also the eldest married couple in the village.
On achieving their 64th wedding anniversary in 2011, the couple was recognised at Our Lady of Guadeloupe (Pararmin RC Church). They also received an apostolic blessing from Pope Benedict XVI.
Had it been left to her grandparents, Cassandra said their wedding anniversary in February would have passed quietly with little or no fanfare. She said they would have never agreed to a celebration or an appearance at the TT Film Festival.
“They are not very material people. They have never been interested in celebrating anniversaries. Their money has been to provide for the family.”
Cassandra, speaking on behalf of the family, wished her grandparents many more years of wedded bliss.