Don’t Miss Our “In The Mood For Love” Contest! Details Below 

Theirs was an arranged marriage.Betty Durai and M.J Vincent went out on just one date prior to their wedding, with her parents in tow.

“I was only 17 and he wanted to take me out but I said no way was I going to go alone. I insisted that my mother and father came along,” recalls Betty, 77.

And so, Betty and Vincent went to watch The 10 Commandments (starring Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner) with her parents sitting in between them.

“It wasn’t much of a first date,” admits Vincent, “But I went knowing what I would be getting and I enjoyed it. It was a good date.”

The next time they met was at their wedding.

“It was a grand day. We had a church wedding in the morning and a reception at a hotel followed by lunch and dinner at my parent’s house for our relatives and friends who had come from all over. He (Vincent) hired a cook and we slaughtered a whole goat and had quite a feast,” says Betty, remembering her wedding 61 years ago.

Betty and Vincent’s love story began after they tied the knot 61 years ago. Photos: AZMAN GHANI/The Star.

After their wedding, Betty moved in to Vincent’s family home and for many years, she lived not only with her mother-in-law but her two sisters-in law and their spouses and children.

“At one point, there were about 20 of us in the house and it was great fun. My mother-in-law was a really good cook and I learnt how to cook from her,” she says.

They didn’t go on a honeymoon either. “He did ask me but I said I didn’t want to leave my mother-in-law’s house. I was really quite young and too shy to go anywhere,” shares Betty with a chuckle. Betty and Vincent moved into their own home in 1964 where, she says, she assumed the title of “head of the kitchen department” with much pleasure.

“For me, food is very important and Betty has always prepared whatever I want. She still does,” says the very happy and contented Vincent.

When her husband had to undergo a heart bypass 21 years ago, Betty made sure she cooked healthier meals to cater to his heart condition – no sugar and less oil, but no less delicious meals to keep her spouse happy but also healthy.

Although they only got to know each other after they tied the knot, Vincent admits that he had actually taken notice of Betty many times before.

“We were family friends, you see. My sister is married to her brother and I’d been to her home many times before and she’d also visited my house. I looked at her very often,” he says, smiling.

“I never looked at him,” Betty retorts. “But when his mother and sister deemed it time for him to find a wife, my uncle was very keen on it being me.”

Although they may not have had a grand love story before marriage, the couple have absolutely nothing but good things to say about each other and their life together.

“Our love began after marriage and our marriage has been very precious and joyous,” says Vincent, a retired civil servant.

“He is a very loving man and I am very proud of him. He never says no to me and we hardly ever argue … if we do it’s about little things that don’t matter,” says Betty.

There was no honeymoon after the wedding; instead Betty moved in with his family and lived with her mother-in-law in her home with about 20 others. She loved it!

Their home in Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur, is filled with family photos with their three children and grandchildren. There are also many “couple shots” of the two through of the years.

“We have celebrated our anniversary every decade, actually. We just celebrated our 60th anniversary last year and I wore my wedding sari,” says Betty, a wide smile on her face.

The secret to their longlasting and happy marriage, says Vincent, is nothing more than love, understanding and support. This, he says, was evident from the very start of their marriage. As an avid footballer, Vincent was very involved in the Football Association of Malaysia – as both an official and referee for matches in Malaysia and abroad.

“In the early days of our marriage, I was concerned about whether she would let me carry on with my sporting activities as often as I wanted. And she did. She has always been very supportive in whatever I did and I appreciate that,” says Vincent.

And even though Betty hasn’t quite developed a love for football in their 61 years together, she sits with him and their family (who are all fans of Arsenal football club) through some matches.

“The most important thing in a marriage is family. That’s what I tell my children too … value family, not only their own family but their in-laws’ too,” says Betty.


“In The Mood For Love” Contest 

StarLifestyle and Star2.com are bringing you love stories every day, starting from Valentine’s Day to Chap Goh Meh (the other Valentine’s Day) on Feb 19. The 15th day of the first Lunar month is all about finding love, so it’s only fitting that we celebrate love all week!

Read our stories, then go to our social media pages on Facebook (facebook.com/starlifestyle) and Instagram (instagram.com/starlifestylemy), and join our special celebration of love, “In The Mood For Love”, by winning a pair of Longines Hydroconquest watches worth RM10,000 for you and your loved one.

How To Win At Love!
1. Collect a question daily from Feb 14-19 based on the love stories. You must answer all six (6) questions.
2. Complete this slogan: Love is ….. (in not more than 50 words).
3. Email all six answers and slogan to star2@thestar.com.my by Feb 20. Include your full name, MyKad number and contact number, and don’t forget to add “In The Mood For Love Contest” in the subject field.

Terms & Conditions
1. The contest is open to all residents in Malaysia except for employees of the Star Media Group Berhad and members of their immediate families.
2. The prize cannot be exchanged for cash.
3. By participating in this contest, participants are deemed to have agreed to all rules and regulations of this contest. The Star reserves the right to alter/change/add/cancel any terms & conditions of contest without prior notice.
4. Judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entertained.