Couple renews vows 50 years after first ‘I do’
January 15, 2013

Couple renews vows 50 years after first ‘I do’

After 50 years of marriage, Winston Arthur Richards, and Clarista Johanna Richards say they are as much in love as the first time they met, and are looking forward to 50 more years, if God allows.{{more}}

All formalities will be left here.

The couple, known and referred to as Mother and Daddy, and considered family by all, reaffirmed their marriage covenant on December 29, 2012, exactly 50 years after they first said “I do”.

Relaxing at their Kingstown Park home the day after the celebration, the couple, surrounded by close relatives and friends, related to SEARCHLIGHT instances of joy and pain, successes and sorrows, which all together worked for good, in a family that loves God.

Mother recounted meeting Daddy in June 1962 in Kingstown Park, after coming on a family visit from Stubbs, where she lived.

She remembers stealing a photo on one visit of the man that was soon to steal her heart.

“One day I came down and he wasn’t there, and I saw a picture there with him and I love the picture, and I carried it home,” she said.

“When I reached home from work, I went to the drawer and realized the picture gone,” Daddy recalls. “When I asked whe’ the picture, they say Claris take the picture.”

The couple courted for six months, before the “hard to get” Claris agreed to marry Winston.

The wedding was originally scheduled for Boxing Day, but the couple tied the knot three days later, to accommodate another relative, who was getting married on the same day.

He was 21; she was 19.

Fast forward 50 years.

The venue is once again the Kingstown Methodist Church, but instead of the traditional bridal party, Mother and Daddy are accompanied by persons who were not at the original event: their children, grandchildren, and other persons who may or may not even have been born at the time.

In fact, the only person alive who attended both events was a family friend, who was 13 years old at the time, and attended with her mother.

In the presence of Reverend Adrian Odle, Daddy and Mother repeated their vows to have and to hold, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, til death …

That was their solemn vow.

The couple was serenaded by family friend Rick McDonald on trumpet, along with the Richards ensemble, which comprises their children and some in-laws.

Instead of the Peace Memorial Hall, the reception this time took place at the Methodist Church Hall, where speaker after speaker showered the couple with accolades, hugs, kisses and tears.

The speakers related that despite Mother and Daddy’s six biological children, the couple took in larger families, most of them strangers, the homeless and visitors, and treated them as their own.

The couple also went out of their way to not only feed and clothe their own, but also families in the communities where they lived.

“We looked at the needs and we met the needs. We always see the need to help others,” mother informed SEARCHLIGHT.

No need was greater for them than to instill the gospel into others, which they did in their children Bernie, Cecil, Alphanso, Diane, Ezekiel and Felix.

The parents expressed their gratitude to their children and all who made the event a reality, with Mother showing a measure of pride that their sacrifices to raise their children had paid off.

“It makes me feel proud with humility and proud to see that they followed my teaching.

“I feel happy, I feel blessed, I feel justified by my children that they didn’t wait until we are dead to say good things about us.”

The happy couple said that the recipe for a successful marriage now, is practically the same as back then.

“Trust, love, forgiveness, confidentiality and contentment. There is no divorce in my book,” Daddy highlighted.

“Contentment with God is great gain,” Mother added.

The dynamic duo said that they have shared millions of memorable moments together over the years.

But one of the most interesting aspects, is that the pair seem to be able to read each other’s thoughts.

Milestones and moments of the couple’s life together are being shared on the website