PENANG: It was a double dose of joy for Lim Cheng Thor and wife Khoo Sok Ean when they celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary and 81st birthday together with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren last night.
Nearly 1,000 relatives and friends joined in the celebration at the Che Hoon Khor Moral Uplifting Society in Jalan Macalister where the couple cut a five-tiered high cake to commemorate their wedding and birthday celebration.
Lim, who was born on Nov 10, 1923, said although his wife, who was born on Jan 9 of the same year, is 10 months and one day older than him, they had always got on well.
For us, love is a labour of commitment, endurance and sacrifices, he said, adding these three elements were still the keys to their blossoming love of 60 years.
Lim, who has seven sons and a daughter, 20 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, said: Love is a wonderful gift. It is a blessing that should be counted every day but it takes a lot of persistence and selflessness to keep it going.
During the dinner, the guests were presented with a brief audiovisual presentation of the couples life together while the Penang Symphony Orchestra livened up the evening.
Guests also received porcelain plates emblazoned with pictures of the three Chinese deities of Fu (Prosperity), Lu (Happiness), Sou (Longevity) as souvenirs at the end of the eight-course Chinese dinner.
Married in 1943 at the tender age of 21 during the Japanese Occupation, Lim said their marriage was arranged by a matchmaker.
Although I only saw my wife on our wedding day, it was like a match made in heaven.
Even though we did not have a fairytale beginning like love at first sight, were looking forward to a happily-ever-after ending now, he said during a family reunion at his Lebuhraya Scot house recently.
Recalling his earlier years, Lim said life was not a bed of roses as he grew up in a slump area near Weld Quay with his elder brother and two elder sisters.
I had to leave school at the age of 12 and did odd jobs to help the family, earning merely RM3 a month while having only one sen as pocket money, he said.
In the mid 1940s, Lim started his own porcelain crockery shop in Carnavon Street, which runs until today.
All these years, my wife and I have endured through thick-and-thin together, he said.
Khoo said the secret of their success in marriage and longevity was to live a simple life besides having a clear conscience.
Khoo added that for the occasion, they did not wish to have any special presents or expensive gifts.
All we hope is that for generations to come, our family would be able to live harmoniously in good health and to show love to one another, she said.
And although both only finished primary education, the elderly couple had always encouraged their children and grandchildren to go all the way.
True to their principles, four out of six sons, Huat Seng, Huat Bee, Huat Beng and Huat Joo, are now doctors.
With their second son Huat Chye has taken over the crockery business and their youngest son Keat Nee works as an accountant, the couples 20 grandchildren are also university graduates, while their only daughter Ai Tee is working as a bank clerk.
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