Children the key to keeping our marriage strong
In a day where divorce is common, Edric and Joyce Pearman are a rare match.
The St George’s couple have been together since they were teenagers, and celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last year.
Honoured for that achievement as part of International Marriage Week Bermuda, event organisers said the couple’s union is one of the Island’s longest.
The key, Mr Pearman believes, is to keep conflict out of the relationship.
“It takes two to cause problems,” the 94-year-old advised. “If you don’t want to disagree then don’t say nothing.”
Family has always been a big part of the Pearmans’ life. They have eight children daughters Shirley Blakeney, Aleathea Rabain, Connie Simmons, Irene Paynter, Joanne and Christine Pearman, and sons Michael and Kenny Pearman.
“I always wanted to live long enough to see my children grow up and out of the way,” said Mrs Pearman, who is now 91. “You have to be close to them, talk to them if they have any problems. It keeps you active doing things with them. He [Mr Pearman] was always a big help.”
The couple also have 18 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.
Mr Pearman remembers being teased by family and friends until his sons were born.
“When I had those six girls they used to tease me ‘you can’t make boys?’ When the first boy came nobody said nothing.
“I’m a sucker for girls, I used to take my girls all over the place. I used to take them to Hamilton and show them off to people. Their mother used to dress them all up alike.”
Second oldest daughter Aleathea Rabain has fond memories growing up in a house full of children in Wellington, St George’s.
“He still cooks and even when my mom is sleeping he would prepare breakfast and wake her,” said Mrs Rabain. “He gives her breakfast, cooks dinner and waits on her.”
Her father’s caring nature extended to the children, too, she said.
“I always remember when my daddy was working nights driving taxi that we would all be waiting up because we knew that he would be coming home with ice cream,” she recalled. “That was a real treat.”
Water was a big part of life for the Pearmans who enjoyed many outings on the family boat,
The Parrot. Mr Pearman worked in the Navy and also drove taxi for 20 years before becoming a charter fisherman, taking tourists on fishing trips.
Mr Pearman is the oldest of eight children born to Joseph and Maude Pearman. He learned how to be a father from his experiences with his own father, with whom he was close.
“I was with my daddy all the time,” he said. “My father used to take me to movies every Saturday, the silent movies when you had to read the words on the screen. I spent a lot of time with my father.
“My daddy always had boats, he built five boats and restored four old boats, 40-footers. When I was about 11-years-old I could run a boat. We used to do sightseeing trips and I used to steer the boat. I always had a small boat.”
His wife wishes she could have spent more time on the boat. “I loved the boat but he was always busy working,” she stated.
“We couldn’t go out too often because he always had a job, going somewhere. I would only get out in it once or twice a year. We would go sightseeing and then stop and have a swim.”
Added Mr Pearman: “The children kept the marriage strong. Jim Woolridge, a friend of mine, said he was going to write the Queen and get a citation for my wife for putting up with me all these years. All my children are close with us, that phone is going all the time ‘daddy, how are you feeling?’”