When Winston Rose left the Cayman Islands for further studies in Jamaica, while working with Cable and Wireless, little did he realise this is where he would meet his future wife, Hyacinth.
With promises to always be truthful, honest, open, never hiding anything, operating on Godly principles, be faithful and committed they locked into marriage for the long-haul and trusted God to lead the way while loving each other.
“We did not look for a way to get out of the marriage but prayed for each other,” Mr. Rose said.
“There were differences, but we tried to work them out,” Mrs. Rose added.
Married for 40 years, the couple celebrated their wedding anniversary at the Church of God Chapel in Bodden Town recently with family and friends.
For the Rose family it was a day of celebration. Not only for the loving relationship within their marriage, which brought them three sons – Phillip, Samuel and Joel – but also to have the love and support of the Bodden Town community, which to them is like an extension of family.
“Mummy and Daddy I want to thank you for everything you have done. According to the doctors, my mother wasn’t supposed to have any children but they did not accept that as gospel and believed the Lord would work a miracle on their behalf and they prayed. Joel and I are great evidence that God works miracles. We are grateful you trusted the Lord and did not depend on modern technology but believed in the Holy Spirit and I am very grateful to be here, or it would have been a very different evening tonight,” said Samuel paying special honour to his parents for having him and looking out for many others in the community who entered their home with love, care and faithfulness.
“Married today and raising children of my own I realise how difficult it is to raise children,” he said. “I thank you all for chipping in and helping my parents with us, and now me from time to time with that mission.”
For those who don’t know Pastor Rose and Pastor Hyacinth, they are the couple who are always willing to lend a hand or a listening ear. Old fashioned and Caymanian as they come, their love for the church, the people and families on a whole, has gone far beyond the church walls.
To some he is the pastor, to others he is a mentor, and to many he is a friend, confidant and colleague. She is a mother, a wife, a friend, confidant, grandmother, teacher, pianist, and a nursing instructor. The Rose’s have many vocations, all of which are ways of serving God and as many said on the night of their anniversary … The Bodden Town church of God is very fortune to have them within their midst.
Some people might look on their marriage and say, OK they are Christians, they should have a happy marriage, they should love each other, they should have raised a good family, but they are humans too and ups and downs will come just like anyone. But how they conquer those troubles is what makes this couple unique.
To his congregation on Sunday, Pastor Rose said their marriage stayed together not because they were pastors and everything was smooth sailing, but because they based their affection for each other on God’s love.
He went on to say their love was based on trust and faith because when they got married they were poorer than church mice in those days, but they loved each other and found ways to make the marriage work.
He said he is not the kind of man to go out to buy flowers and chocolates, but shows his love in many other ways. His wife is very caring to him and shows him lots of love and that was one of the things is “a man likes the affection and attention that is given to him by a woman,” he shared with his congregation to reflect on their own lives and their own marriages and see if they did or did not show as much love and affection that they should.
Pastor Winston Rose grew up in Barkers, West Bay, living his early years as most typical Caymanians. He later moved to George Town, went to sea at 17, went to college, got a job, then he married Hyacinth in 1971.
Pastor Hyacinth Rose grew up in Jamaica. As a little girl, Hyacinth came to love the Lord through her family and around the piano. After a nursing education to become a registered nurse and certified midwife she returned to Jamaica. This is where she met her husband, who at the time was pursuing a course in Jamaica.
Marrying Hyacinth Webb in 1971, the couple settled in Bodden Town and was welcomed into the Church of God Chapel by the small and friendly congregation. Impressed by her husband, it was not long before church members approached him to be their pastor.
As newlyweds and not knowing the community well they felt a bit lonely but that soon ended.
It was Christmastime and both were feeling a bit of desperation and lost that they would have to spend the holidays away from their families.
“We were really not enjoying the meal at all and just trying to get through the process of it all when we heard a knock at the door,” Mrs. Rose said. “Imagine how happy we were to see another human being. Marilyn Levy, one of the youngsters we had met at Bible camp that week and had got talking decided she would make it her business to see if we were all right.
“We did not even ask her anything but just dragged her through the door to have dinner with us. That meant so much to us and helped us to get through Christmas on our own.”
Ms Levy still recalls what the Rose’s served for dinner the evening she went to welcome the couple to the neighbourhood. “That was the tastiest roast beef and roast potatoes I ever had and over the years,” she said.
From the numerous accolades given by family and friends it is evident this couple is well-loved. A delicious meal of beef, chicken, fish and trimmings was enjoyed amid jovial conservation of recapping the past.
Church member Twyla Vargas has the highest respect for the Roses and looks on them without blemish.
“They are a very humble and loving couple and the community of Bodden Town is very fortunate to have them in the church,” she said. “They always want to see families together and in the church.”
Mary Lawrence has known the Roses a long time and doesn’t think there was once a gathering within the home and they were not invited. “We have been a family intertwined over the years,” she said wishing them success in their marriage, the church and the community. “When two different people from two different spheres in life are placed together there has to be compromise whether it is feeding or discipline the children, how you want the furniture put, where you are going, or other difference; you survived 40 years of that, then the Rose’s need a special round of applause.”
Bodden Town is very fortunate to have them and as Roy Bodden said, “They don’t just preach it; they walk it as well.” Church sister, Ginger Solomon always says that if she knew one person within the church that is going to heaven that is Pastor Rose.
Ms Lawrence still remembers Hyacinth expecting her first child, Samuel, and the excitement it created in Bodden Town that the Roses were having a baby. He was the most wanted child at the time, she said.
The Roses thank God for blessing their family, and helping them to raise their sons in the midst of the activity in the home as well as the distractions of the world outside. They are also thankful for their daughters-in-law and grandchildren and are honoured to serve the people and blessed with a caring congregation.