Above: Couples at the Worldwide Marriage Encounter Singapore’s 32nd anniversary celebration. Below: Some of the couples who marked their milestone anniversaries.

Some 60 couples marked their milestone wedding anniversaries recently

A successful marriage rests on one biblical word – “love”, according to Willie and Teresa Koh, a couple who have been married for 51 years.

“That is the strong foundation that a marriage needs to sit on; and it is this that enabled us to go through the ups and downs in life steadfastly together,” said one of them during the Worldwide Marriage Encounter Singapore’s 32nd anniversary celebration.

The Kohs were one of about 600 people, including couples and their families, who attended the event at the Church of St Vincent de Paul on May 17, Vesak Day.

Apart from the anniversary Mass, the celebration also honoured couples marking their milestone anniversaries, in multiples of five years, from their fifth to 50th anniversaries.

Of the 60 couples or so celebrating such anniversaries, four have been married for more than 50 years.

“It is an amazing sight to behold,” said Mr Adrian Tee, who renewed his marriage vows with his wife, Jennifer, during the celebration for the first time. “I am touched by the love the couples have for their marriage and the Church to show up in force on a public holiday for this special occasion.”

Mrs Tee remarked, “I am eagerly waiting for 2014 to mark our 15th wedding anniversary in a similar way.”

It was the second time that Daniel and Julie Ho, parents of two teenage children, were taking part in the Marriage Encounter (ME) anniversary Mass. “Today’s involvement is very special for us as we are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary this year,” said one of them.

Archbishop Nicholas Chia, in his homily, encouraged ME priests and couples to continue helping married couples discover God in their relationship. Marriages go wrong when there is no place for God in the couples’ lives, he said.

“The Holy Family is the model for all to follow. Ponder on the roles of Joseph, Mary and Jesus, and imitate them in your family,” he said.

The ME ecclesial team, comprising Fr Luke Fong and Patrick and Rachel Tee, in a speech, noted that the ME movement in Singapore has presented the weekend programme 370 times over the last 31 years.

They said their focus this year would be to get couples who have attended ME to be more active in the community.

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