There’s a saying that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but Abe Collins, 75, gladly declined the food on offer when he met the love of his life, Angela Collins, 72, and now the two are celebrating 50 years of marital bliss.
The Welcome Estate couple met 52 years ago, when Ms Collins was serving food at a friend’s 21st birthday party. When she caught Mr Collins’s eye, he asked her to put down the food tray and dance with him, and the rest, they say, is history.
Ms Collins, however, noticed Mr Collins long before this party, as the two used to socialise with a group of friends.
“A group of friends went to watch the Christmas lights in Cape Town and from there we went to a friend’s house in Bridgetown. Angela was in Cape Town and at my friend’s place that night, and I wasn’t even aware she was there,” Mr Collins said.
After courting for almost two years, the couple got married at St Nicholas Church in Elsies River on May 6, 1972. Ms Collins grew up in Elsies River, while Mr Collins is from Bridgetown. Over the years, they moved from Bridgetown to Gleemoor, then Surrey Estate, and owned their first home when they moved to Mandalay, where they lived for 15 years, before moving to Welcome Estate.
Mr Collins said their marriage was kept together because of God, their love and respect for one another, and good communication.
“We are two different people. We have our different manners. I told her she can be angry at me for whatever reason, but I will never go to bed angry,” Mr Collins said.
He worked away from home often, as he was a seaman for 38 years. He worked until the age of 53, when he was medically boarded. Ms Collins worked in a shoe factory, but after the birth of their children, she became a stay-at-home mother.
Speaking about their marriage, Ms Collins said: “All the glory goes to God. Because of Abe’s work, he was sometimes away from home for up to 40 days. Then I had to be the teacher, treasurer, nurse and everything else to our children. Our children are my joy, and I consider it a privilege that I was able to be home to raise them. In all our time together, Abe has never used a bad word against me – he never swore at me. Our daughter told me the other day that she can count on her one hand the amount of times we as a couple had an argument.”
Mr Collins believes their relationship was all part of God’s plan.
“When she was born, God had me on his mind,” Mr Collins smiled.
The couple had three children. Their eldest son, Neil Collins, who was a traffic officer, died at the age of 44 last year, after contracting Covid-19. They have five grandchildren.