Sat | Feb 22, 2020

Centenarian shares secret of a long life and a healthy marriage

Published:Wednesday | May 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/ Gleaner Writer
Julia Campbell right) shows affection for her husband Franklyn while their daughter Marelyn beams with pride.

Looking at Julia Campbell, it would be hard to guess that she is 101 years old. Celebrating 56 years of marriage to the love of her life, Franklyn - a man nine years her junior - she didn't miss an opportunity to show him her affection.

"We go everywhere together," she informed, as she placed an arm around his shoulder and snuggled a little closer to him, as their daughter Marelyn Shaw looked on in amusement at them both.

Franklyn, who accompanied his wife to the Versalles Hotel in May Pen, Clarendon, last Thursday, where the Ministry of Labour and Social Security's Council for Senior Citizens was observing Centenarian Day under the theme 'Promoting Healthy and Active Ageing', was all smiles as she cosied up

to him.

An ardent community worker and a dedicated church member of the Water Lane Baptist Church in Clarendon, she has been a Christian for 66 years.

"My grandfather was a deacon at Hayes Baptist and I grew up in church. There was no other way for me," she said, attributing the foundation of her faith to her early upbringing.




Julia, who was married before she met Franklyn, said after her first husband died, she was dating someone else.

"But a lady got a revelation that the man I was with presently was not the one for me," she said.

Some time later, she met Franklyn, who moved from Hanover to settle in Clarendon, at a standpipe in the community. He asked her for a drink of water, the two struck up a conversation and the rest, where their relationship is concerned, is now history.

Julia said she doesn't allow arguments to affect their relationship, and if he does something to annoy her, she has one strategy.

"Before I answer, I pick up my Bible and go read it. By the time I am finished, I am calmed down," she said with a smile.

Asked the secret to her longevity, Julia laughed along with her daughter, who responded for her mother.

"She is hypertensive and a diabetic and she eats and drink everything! She has a sweet tooth, sugar doesn't stop my mother from indulging in ice cream," she said.

Her mother has a different answer, as she said her 'secret' is an open one. She based her good health on her faith and trust in the Lord.

"I love my Saviour, He is my redeemer, He carries me through everything. Without Him I dare not live," she said of the faith that she said has seen her through everything in her life.

The mother of three (one deceased) had words of wisdom for married couples. She said both partners cannot be the leaders in the relationship.

"It's a wonderful thing if you and your partner can agree, but sometimes when you are married both want to dominate," she said, cautioning couples to consider each other.

Shaw said her mother's life and relationship has been an inspiration for her, and it was one she also carried over to her own marital relationship.