Canada’s Longest Marriage Began In 1932, Keeps On Giving
Published: May 23, 2013
Canada’s Longest Marriage Began In 1932, Keeps On Giving, What does it take to stay married for 80 years? Apparently living in what sounds like a time warp. Alice and Arthur John tied a knot back in 1932 that has yet to unravel, and they’ve kept it together in the wilds of Ross River, Yukon.
Their union is the longest-running known marriage in Canada, according to Worldwide Marriage Encounter Canada. As for the time warp, Arthur, born in 1911, was a fur trapper and prospector while Alice, born in 1917, sold her sewing works in their remote, unincorporated community of some 300 souls.
Their marriage, arranged in the Dena Indian tradition, produced 11 offspring and 38 grandchildren. “He’s been a good provider for us,” said daughter Dorothy. “I think they’re perfect role models for our kids.”
A couple in Ross River, Yukon, who have been married since 1932, are believed to hold the record for the longest marriage in Canada, according to Worldwide Marriage Encounter Canada.
Alice and Arthur John took part in an arranged marriage ceremony in the Dena tradition in 1932, which was followed by a ceremony in an Anglican Church in 1935. Later that year, while they were working on their trap line, a Roman Catholic priest blessed their union.
Depending on which year you use, they have been married for 77 or 80 years. Their anniversary is in October.
Alice and Arthur John were first married in the Dena tradition in 1932. They had an Anglican marriage ceremony in 1935. (Photo courtesy of Dorothy John)
The faith-based marriage organization made the announcement based on nominations it received. The organization notes there could be other couples in Canada married longer, but that the Johns have been married longer than all others who were nominated as part of its search.
Arthur, born in 1911, has been a fur trapper and prospector, while Alice, born in 1917, supplemented the family salary by selling her sewing works. Arthur also worked for the U.S. army as a guide. He carried mail between camps by dogsled during the construction of the Canol Road.
They had 11 children, four of whom are still living. They have 38 grandchildren.