SHIP COVE, N.L. — It’s something we hope for, to find true love to last a lifetime.
That’s just the case for lifelong friends Selby and Delilah Tucker of Ship Cove. The happy couple are celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary on Dec. 28.
Selby is 92. Delilah is 90.
Both hailing from Ship Cove, they lived in their own home in that community until about four years ago when they moved into Shirley’s Haven Seniors Home in St. Anthony.
Delilah and Selby had 12 children, eight of whom are still living.
Robert Tucker, Ricky Tucker, Harvey Tucker, Leonard Tucker and Louise Bessey live in Ship Cove. Sheila Tucker lives in Rogers Cove (Gander Bay), Patricia Tucker lives in Corner Brook and Eliza Colbourne lives in St. Anthony.
Patricia said it’s difficult to express the gratitude she has for her parents.
“Mom was 15 years old and Dad was 17 when they decided to marry and start having children,” she said. “Still, today, they have so much to give. I’ve learned and accomplished so much in life because of them.”
From the fishery to construction work, Selby had many jobs over the years.
Eliza said her mother worked in the fish plant for many years and did whatever else needed to be done.
“When my Dad went at the fish, whatever he went at, she (Delilah) helped him, too,” Eliza said. “She was his right hand.
“We helped our Mom and we helped our Dad. We were well took care of and we never went hungry... there was always food for the table.”
Eliza said she’s learned many things from her mother over the years.
“She’s what made me the person I am today, my Mother,” she said.
Eliza said her mother taught her everything from cooking to baking; from knitting to sewing.
“When we were growing up, if we wanted a coat or a pair of pants she would make it. She did all that and more,” Eliza added.
While her parents are well blessed, Eliza said, so too are their children.
“What we are today, is from our Mom and Dad,” she said.
While a little hard of hearing, Delilah had no trouble answering questions when contacted by phone at Shirley’s Haven.
When mentioned how remarkable it is that she has lived into her 90s and has been married for 75 years, the friendly senior said light-heartedly, “Yes, isn’t that wonderful. But don’t ask me how I done it because I don’t know.”
“But we went to school together, we married and we’ve been living together ever since,” she added.
Delilah had just turned 16-years-old when she had her first child.
“I’ve been on my own since I was 15 years old. I grew up without a mom. My Mom passed away when I was about two years old. I was raised by my grandparents,” she said.
Delilah is proof that the well-known saying ‘hard work never killed anyone’ is true, at least in her case.
She’s made many batches of bread over the years. The family grew their own vegetables, and she made clothes for her children, but not from new material and not with a pattern.
“I done my own work and I done a man’s work... heavy work. (Selby) was sick for a couple of years and I looked after him and looked after the children,” Delilah said.
What has kept her and Selby together for three-quarters of a century?
“He’s the same man today as the man I married 75 years ago,” she surmised.
Patricia summed up well just how much her parents mean to her and her siblings.
“If I could be half of the parent to my child that these wonderful souls are to their children, I would know I did it right,” she said. “Their children are their main priority. It’s a blessing to be able to call them our parents.”