John & Evelyna Musgrove

In her magazine, Oprah writes a column, ‘What I know for sure’. Borrowing that thought, I know for sure that my parents are still in love after 50 years. How do I know? Well you only have to watch them! See the way they smile at each other, walk and sit close to each other. Every morning Dad dares not leave the house without mom’s goodbye kiss. He gets home as early as he can and mom has dinner waiting when he arrives. They do almost everything together and except for childbirth and one time when Dad had a short stay in hospital, they have never slept apart. They’ll both tell you, “I married my best friend and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

Their story began a long time ago. Dad says, “Since I was about 8 years old, I prayed to God for a wife that I could live peacefully and happily with. He gave me your mother.” Mom says, “Chile, I know your daddy from I had sense” – typical of her sense of humor. She refers to the fact that their families knew each since they were children.
A few days ago I started writing a story, ‘A 50 Year Love Story’ as a tribute to my parents, John & Evelyna Musgrove. On Monday 15th June, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. And what a lifelong love song it has been so far.


John & Evelyna Musgrove

In her magazine, Oprah writes a column, ‘What I know for sure’. Borrowing that thought, I know for sure that my pParents are still in love after 50 years. How do I know? Well you only have to watch them! See the way they smile at each other, walk and sit close to each other. Every morning Dad dares not leave the house without mom’s goodbye kiss. He gets home as early as he can and mom has dinner waiting when he arrives. They do almost everything together and except for childbirth and one time when Dad had a short stay in hospital, they have never slept apart. They’ll both tell you, “I married my best friend and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

Their story began a long time ago. Dad says, “Since I was about 8 years old, I prayed to God for a wife that I could live peacefully and happily with. He gave me your mother.” Mom says, “Chile, I know your daddy from I had sense” – typical of her sense of humor. She refers to the fact that their families knew each since they were children.



My life today has taken a new and unexpected turn this weekend. Before I finished writing this story, Dad had a stroke and as this gets posted he is in the Intensive Care Unit at Princes Margaret Hospital. We are all surprised, sad and hopeful. But, we are confident that our God who never sleeps nor slumbers is intimately involved in this situation. Please help us pray for dad’s full recovery and for my mother. She misses him so much.

Daddy was born in Cockburn Town, San Salvador. When his mother (the late Lillian Ward-Musgrove) moved to New Providence seeking employment, he was cared for by his grandfather, the late Paul Ward & Mrs. Hilda Ward – pioneers of the Adventist church in The Bahamas. When he was 8 years old, he came to New Providence to join his family and lived on Young Street until he was married. His family worshipped at Grant’s Town Seventh-day Adventist Church on Wellington Street. One day in church as a soloist sang ‘Is your all on the altar of sacrifice laid’ my father gave his life to Christ and has not turned back since. He says it’s the best decision he ever made in his life.

Mom was born in Burnt Ground, Long Island to the late Mary Adderley-Burrows and Samuel Adderley. She came to New Providence at a very early age and was raised by the late Nellie & Zephaniah Rahming, pioneer members and officers of the Grant’s Town Seventh-day Adventist Church. She admits that when she was young she got baptized because she was tired of sitting outside in the cold, dark evening while her Dad was in church business meeting. But she’ll also tell you that God has been her friend and sustainer through all her days and ‘who God keeps is well kept’.

So, it was through church and family affiliation that the attention of a young, athletic and debonaire ‘Johnny’ became captivated by his pretty, petite and feisty childhood friend. On Sunday 15th June 1959, John Musgrove was united in holy matrimony to Evelyna Adderley by Pastor R. M. Mote at the Grant’s Town Seventh-day Adventist Church. Fifty years later there are 5 sons (John Jr., Gregory, Craig, Edwin, Michael), 4 daughters (Bernadette, Patricia, Paula, Marcia), in-laws, 17 grandchildren, plus ‘adopted’ sons and daughters.

Daddy is a self-employed Taxi & Tour Driver and a mason by trade. We are so grateful that he worked hard to make sure that we had everything we needed and were denied anything that they thought would lead us astray. In our humble, happy home we have lots of memories of weekend drives, beach picnics, the drive-in theatre, roller-skating, shooting marbles, playing ball, ‘ping-pong’, ‘cut-skin’ sessions, family worship and attending church. Though he often worked long hours trying to make ends meet, what we best remember is that Daddy was always there.

He is well-respected among his peers as a man of integrity. Daddy has held various positions of responsibility in the Bahamas Taxi- Cab Union, including chairman of the executive board, appeals committee and credit union supervisory committee, asst. tour chairman and secretary of the constitution committee. At church he served as an elder, deacon, choir member and officer in the Pathfinders, Missionary Volunteers, Personal Ministries and Sabbath school.

Mom is that virtuous woman who does ‘her husband good, all the days of her life’. She truly made our house a home and refuge for family and friends alike. She was the family manager, seamstress, disciplinarian, teacher, nurse and nurturer. She is known for her generous heart and hand, her quick sense of humor and savvy in the kitchen – especially her carrot cake and coconut pound cake. Mom is a soprano soloist, choir member, member of the fellowship committee and bakes bread for the soup kitchen every Tuesday. Her mantra – if I can help somebody as a travel along, then my living will not be in vain.

Every day that my siblings and I spend time with them or think of them, we feel loved, inspired and encouraged to keep serving God and knowing that marriage can work. And the family that prays and plays together, stays together.

Written By: Marcia Musgrove
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