|Interview with a ‘golden’ couple - Jun 24|
|2012 - Features|
|Saturday, 23 June 2012 20:12|
Following is an edited version of an interview Nicholas Cooper-Neaves, chairman of the Rio Claro Parish Council, had with Yolande and Michael Rampersad. The couple received a Papal Blessing on Mothers’ Day to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary:
Yolande and Michael have been actively involved in our parish for decades. They have participated in COR retreats, coordinated youth groups, and taught baptism, confirmation and RCIA classes, counseled couples preparing for marriage, served as Eucharistic Ministers and lectors.
How do you feel to have achieved such a milestone?
We are proud, happy and excited. We see it as a blessing and an answered prayer.
How did you both meet?
We met at the Rio Claro CM School at around the age of ten. Michael had just been transferred to the school and as a little girl, I liked him from the first time I saw him. Shortly after we were separated as we headed off to secondary school. After about four years of being apart from each other we met by chance on the bus one day. One of my friends met me and told me that Michael liked me and being a bold person I confronted him and asked him if it was true. He admitted that it was and asked me not to tell anyone. It was there that our courtship began. I was good at Latin and so I helped him a lot with his Latin. We also started to go on dates to the Botanic Gardens in Port of Spain taking the train to Jerningham Junction then into town. After courting for about four years we were married at the St Therese RC Church in Rio Claro on April 7, 1962.
As a couple, what are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
Finances. We were both working, I at the Ministry of Works for $60 a fortnight and she as a teacher at Santa Rita RC for $120 a month. However, we had a family of three children, two boys and a girl, to look after and a household to manage, and that proved a great challenge on many occasions. Then there was the liming with the boys which was over done by Michael.
How did you overcome them?
The Marriage Encounter Movement. In April of 1979, we attended a Marriage Encounter weekend and this gave us a new lease on our married life. We only then really understood and saw marriage as a sacrament that had to be lived daily. It was truly a turning point for us.
What is the toughest thing you ever had to face as a couple?
The deaths of our two sons. They are experiences from which we have not yet fully recovered.
What has kept you both together for so long?
Michael’s sense of humor, the children, love for each other and most importantly God. Michael is a very romantic person and has stayed that way up to today. We try to re-live the courtship daily, enjoy each other’s company and go out together a lot. We also like to dress in similar colours as a sign of our unity. Added to that we had lots of likes in common, such as dancing, going to the movies, visiting calypso tents and ‘liming’, to name a few. Although we shared a lot in common we were still able to keep our individuality. Also the family has always been a very close knit family and this has helped in keeping our love alive.
What advice would you give to young couples?
Keep the doors of communication open at all times. Listen to each other; hear what is said as well as what is not spoken. Read the body language. Allow your partner to be himself or herself. Keep the courtship going. Above all, keep God in the midst of the relationship.________________________________________________________________________________________ **DISCLAIMER**: User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Camsel/Catholic News or its staff. Camsel/Catholic News accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments. Please help us keep our site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option. Camsel/Catholic News reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed. Before posting, please refer to the Comments Policy under Resources