'I did' more than 50 years ago - and today, 'I still do'

Six elderly couples renewed their vows at ROM yesterday after getting married more than 50 years ago. It was the first time ROM conducted a wedding vow renewal ceremony. (From left) Madam Tan Soon Gek and Mr Lim Peck Kan; Mr Wong Yee Fun and Madam Ch
Six elderly couples renewed their vows at ROM yesterday after getting married more than 50 years ago. It was the first time ROM conducted a wedding vow renewal ceremony. (From left) Madam Tan Soon Gek and Mr Lim Peck Kan; Mr Wong Yee Fun and Madam Chan Soo Moi; Mr Lek Long Chua and Madam Heng Peng Hway; Madam Lee Ah Ching and Mr Tan Tok Guan; Mr Sum Boon Huat and Madam Lim Chwee Kim; Madam Tan Ah Lek and Mr Chiang Khee Yan. ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Six elderly couples who said "I do" more than 50 years ago renewed their vows yesterday in an emotional ceremony at the Registry of Marriages (ROM).

They held hands, looked lovingly into each other's eyes, expressed their gratitude and promised to continue loving each other.

All this in the presence of relatives, including their children and grandchildren.

The couples also received commemorative items from Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin.

They had responded to a call by ROM for couples who tied the knot 55 years ago during the first month of its operations in September 1961.


Six elderly couples renewed their vows at ROM yesterday after getting married more than 50 years ago. It was the first time ROM conducted a wedding vow renewal ceremony. (From left) Madam Tan Soon Gek and Mr Lim Peck Kan; Mr Wong Yee Fun and Madam Chan Soo Moi; Mr Lek Long Chua and Madam Heng Peng Hway; Madam Lee Ah Ching and Mr Tan Tok Guan; Mr Sum Boon Huat and Madam Lim Chwee Kim; Madam Tan Ah Lek and Mr Chiang Khee Yan. ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Mr Chiang Khee Yan, 80, and Madam Tan Ah Lek, 72, were among the three couples who had registered their marriages then. They received commemorative marriage certificates.

The other three couples were married around the time of ROM's first month of operations and were given tokens of appreciation and congratulatory letters.

ROM said it was the first time it has conducted a wedding vow renewal ceremony.

Finely dressed in matching purple outfits, retired factory worker Chiang and his wife, who knew each other through friends, said compromise was important in keeping their marriage strong.

Former fisherman Lek Long Chua, 82, and his wife, Madam Heng Peng Hway, 76, who used to work as a construction site labourer, have been married for more than 56 years.

When asked for the secret to their long-lasting marriage, Mr Lek replied in Mandarin: "Life was harder then. We lived one day at a time - we had no time to quarrel."

Mr Tan Peng Yam and Madam Hsu Phillips, both 82, helped solemnise the occasion.They got hitched in 1960.

Mr Tan led the group in reciting their vows. At one point, he said: "I would like to thank you, for being my partner, loving me, tolerating me, encouraging me, sticking to the oath we made then, accompanying me through good times and adversity, and establishing a happy family together."

As the vows ended, Madam Tan leaned in, kissed and hugged her husband, while the crowd of about 30 clapped.

Minister Tan said: "I think it's a testament to their love and their commitment to each other, and hopefully it's also an inspiration to many of us."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2016, with the headline ''I did' more than 50 years ago - and today, 'I still do''. Print Edition | Subscribe