ST Valentine's Day Contest: Top winner's husband helped out at her parents' food stall

Twenty years after they got married, Madam Diana Koh still remembers fondly what her then-boyfriend, Mr Jeb Loh, did to spend time with her when they were dating.

Mr Loh, who is now her husband, just finished his National Service and decided to help out at her parents' food stall every Saturday night so he could be close to her.

"I've known him since I was 16, and we've been dating ever since," said Madam Koh, 50, now an executive secretary at DBS Bank.

The couple did not have much time for dates, but valued the moments they spent together on weekends as they toiled at her parents' fried-noodles store.

"He has never given me flowers, and I have never asked for them," she added. "He's sincere, and that's more than enough."

She and Mr Loh, 54, who now works as a taxi driver, are happily married with a 19-year-old son.

For their dedication and devotion to each other, Madam Koh came out tops in our Valentine's Day Contest.

She walks away with $500 worth of vouchers from TungLok Seafood and British footwear brand Dr Martens, courtesy of our partner, Orchard Central.

Her entry stood out from some 230 entries submitted during the week-long contest. Readers were asked to share the most romantic thing someone had done for them, in 50 words or less.

Madam Koh, who was thrilled to have won the contest, plans to use some of the vouchers to have a good meal with her family at TungLok Seafood.

As for today's plans, she said: "We don't usually celebrate Valentine's Day, but today, we're going to my sister-in-law's house for a family gathering since it's the last day of Chinese New Year."

Another touching entry was sent in by our second-prize winner, Madam Lai Lei Khim, 44, a civil servant. She will receive vouchers worth $300.

She described a hiking trip she undertook with her then-boyfriend, Mr Tan Meng Tat, at Mount Everest almost two decades ago.

She said he could have reached the Everest Base Camp but gave up instead to stay beside her after she got a high fever and could not continue the climb.

"I went back to sleep at the guesthouse. When I woke up, he was by my side with a wild flower," she told The Straits Times. "It dawned on me that I'd found the perfect man."

She and Mr Tan, now 49, a software engineer, are married with three sons. They have not travelled back to Mount Everest since.

However, to celebrate Valentine's Day, she said Mr Tan plans to take her on a cycling trip on Saturday, but says the itinerary would be a surprise.

"I told him that if we won the contest, we'd go out for a good meal to celebrate," recalled Madam Lai.

Six more readers win vouchers worth $200 each.

To read other readers' entries as well as Valentine's Day-related stories, go to our microsite at

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