'I do' again with renewed fervour

Operation Coordinator Teoh Chin Chong (left), 52 , and his wife, housewife Winnie Sia Kie Hee, 51, were among the 32 couples who reaffirmed their marriage vows outside Botanic Gardens MRT station, as part of a grassroots initiative to promote family
Operation Coordinator Teoh Chin Chong (left), 52 , and his wife, housewife Winnie Sia Kie Hee, 51, were among the 32 couples who reaffirmed their marriage vows outside Botanic Gardens MRT station, as part of a grassroots initiative to promote family bonding.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

They have been married for 54 years, but yesterday, Mr Ang See Kee, 80, and Madam Chua Ai Tee, 75, said "I do" again to each other. They were among 32 couples who reaffirmed their marriage vows outside Botanic Gardens MRT station, as part of a grassroots initiative to promote family bonding, on the first day of the year .

Among the participants, Mr Ang and Madam Chua held the honour of being married for the longest number of years. "Vows are just a formality. What is more important is to stay loving, and tolerant of each other," Madam Chua said in Mandarin.

This is the 10th year in which couples renewed their vows together, in the initiative organised by the People's Association Family Life Champions (FLCs). These champions are grassroots leaders tasked with promoting family life in the community. The FLCs involved this year hail from the Yew Tee, Ayer Rajah, Clementi, Keat Hong, Limbang and Yuhua divisions.

For this year's edition, called Mass Romantic Trip, the couples took the train to HarbourFront Centre, where they enjoyed a banquet dinner with friends and relatives. Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC MP Alex Yam presented them with renewal of vows certificates.

Many came dressed in traditional wear. Mr Chan Kok Fee, 66, sported a batik shirt and Madam Tan Ley Choo, 59, a matching batik dress, both sewn by Madam Tan. "We bought the cloth while holidaying in Penang. My wife is a very good seamstress," Mr Chan said proudly.

For Mr Abdul Rahim Safari, 53, and Madam Zaleha Samad, 46, it was the second time they were renewing their vows in 27 years of marriage. Madam Zaleha, an administrative assistant, said: "As the years go by and we go through happy and sad times, the vows become more meaningful when we say the words to one another."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2018, with the headline ''I do' again with renewed fervour'. Print Edition | Subscribe