In an exclusive interview with Radio Grenadines on Union Island, Felix and Mary McKie gave us an insight on what it takes to stay married and loyal to each other for over three decades.
Forty five years ago they met on Canouan, a tiny island in the Grenadines Archipelago, it was in the year 1969. “It was a sort of special connection” Felix said.
“I was a singer in the band – Coral Isle Combo led by Everest Sandy. I normally would do songs by popular singers of that era; so I thought it was my voice that captured her.” Felix said jokingly. Mary concurred shyly with a laugh that she attended a lot of concerts at the time and would normally listen to Felix sing.
As they sat in chairs facing each other at their humble home in Belmont, Union Island, Felix and Mary compared what dating was like back then compared to now.
“We both looked forward to seeing each other during the weekends at picnics and concerts, but in those days dating were not allowed. You were not allowed to visit a girl at home or to take her out. So we had to wait until both families were gathered at an event to just have a look at each other and even then we couldn’t talk for long.”
Felix shared his most memorable moment which was the day they were married. “I waited very long for her to come; I was running out of patience. Then she gracefully came down the isle, at that point I knew that this was the moment of truth, I had no doubt in my mind that she was the one for me.” Mary added that every day is memorable.
What do you like most about each other I asked, Mary shared that Felix is a very humble man and that stands out the most. “She is very sincere in every aspect; she puts all her energy into whatever she does. She is a very dedicated and remarkable woman.” Felix said.
What was most challenging back then? “In those days there wasn’t much money, jobs were scarce and the challenge was to manage the little that we had. We had to take care of the children and we had to make choices of taking care of the kids before ourselves.”
Felix and Mary are the proud parents of three: Maria, Felix Jr and Felicia. I asked, what were some of the challenges in raising them? “We had to find a persuasive way to talk to them and to let them know right from wrong. Back then when they were young there was the presence of a lot of marijuana smoking; through this period I really had to guide them, especially my son.” Felix Said.
Both parents then shared some tips that young parents could follow. “Going to church plays a great role in steering children in the right direction. Morning worship and praying together as a family is significant.” Felix Said.
Parents should seek to have a personal relationship with Jesus, the power of God is needed to turn the tides of present days. Read the Bible with your children so that the words will have an impact no matter the situation or environment. Felix added.
I then went into Love and Marriage. I asked, what was their interpretation of Love? “Love is a unique feeling you get, it’s a special connection, the way someone conduct themselves can draw you in. Love also needs time to grow.” Said the couple
Felix and Mary are married for 38 years so I asked, what’s the secret? “Communication!” They both agreed “We communicate with each other all the time, every issue that affect us we talk about it. We learn about each other over time. We show commitment and consideration, we consider the impact of something on each other.” the couple related.
How do you settle an argument? They answered “We hardly have arguments, but first we analyze it, we hear each other side and try to come to a common understanding. There is no boss, we look at both sides to find common ground. It is important to find a solution, because if you leave it to fester it will explode. We look into the issue to find the cause, the why.”
Felix and Mary reside on Union Island and can be seen sharing a lot of time with each other, going to church regularly or going for a snorkel to the beach on evenings still committed as thirty eight years ago.
Story by Stanton Gomes