Bristol family celebrates many, many golden anniversaries

By GRACE GAGNON

CORRESPONDENT

In the early 1960s, Clauda Martin loved to go dancing and had a taste for men who could keep the beat of the music. Edgar Lavertu was not a natural on the dance floor, but he and Martin will soon celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

“Edgar was not a good dancer, but he learned,” said Martin, who indicated he was the one for her.

But Clauda isn’t the only sibling in her family to celebrate a golden anniversary. On Aug. 27, Clauda and Edgraar Lavertu’s anniversary will mark seven siblings out of 11 in the Martin family to celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary.

Donna (Martin) Lavoie said the roots and love their parents provided are why all the siblings have had long lasting marriages.

Originating from New Brunswick, Canada, the Martins endured a tough loss when their mother died at age 48, and the youngest sibling was not even five years old at the time.

“When our mother passed, the four girls were old enough to keep the family together,” said Gaetane (Martin) Voisine, who celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary in 2014.

Despite the tragedy of losing their mother, the Martin family remained close and eventually came to Connecticut looking for work.

The first sibling to come to Connecticut was the oldest, Robert Martin, who also will celebrate his 60th wedding anniversary this year.

Robert Martin’s wedding was the first of many celebrations.

“There were always bridal showers. We would party for a long time,” said Voisine.

Now after decades of marriage, the family continues to celebrate their vows as each sibling reaches a landmark anniversary.

“Some people can’t believe that we had the same spouse for so long, but we feel that we are the luckiest people,” said Lavoie.

Lavoie said her marriage lasts because they resolve issues before bed and never go to sleep upset.

“The key for a successful marriage is communication, love and patience,” said Lavoie.

However, long lasting marriages aren’t limited to just seven out of the 11 Martin siblings.

The other four siblings who have not yet reached their 50th anniversary have been married for at least 30 years.

Even after all this time, the family remains close and still visits their birthplace in Canada.

Lavoie said two or three siblings at a time will return to New Brunswick for a visit. During the winter months, some of the siblings will travel to Florida together.

The Martin family could qualify for a Guinness World Record as the most number of living siblings within one generation to celebrate their golden anniversary. The Martins decided not to have their name written in the Guinness World Record Book due to the cost of applying for world record status.

They may not have their legacy written in a book, but here in Bristol and hometown of New Brunswick, the Martin’s are recognized for their love, family and strong commitment to marriage.