He had to fend off suitors to win her 60 year ago

They met and fell in love almost 60 years ago while studying in a night school, when they were both 15.

For three years, Mr Kan Yee Heng had to fight off Madam Lee Lin Foon's multiple suitors to win her heart.

Now both 75, the couple recounted their decades-old love story in front of an audience of about 50 people yesterday in the Love@The Gardens event at Gardens by the Bay.

The couple, who married 53 years ago, took first place, winning a trip for two to China and shopping vouchers.

Madam Lee and Mr Kan were shortlisted from over 200 entries in the contest organised by The Straits Times Classified and The New Paper Classified.

Contestants had to submit a photograph which was judged on how well they expressed their love.

The contest was part of the Love@The Gardens event held over the weekend, which featured a showcase of 24 exhibitors from the wedding industry including hotels, restaurants, jewellers, beauty services and others.


Sighs and laughs were heard from the crowd as elderly couples in the contest answered questions about their relationships.

Others sang and professed their love to each other on stage.

Said Madam Lee: "I saw the competition in the newspapers and thought it was a very romantic thing to do. So, I convinced my husband to take part.

"We weren't afraid of appearing on stage as it was just for fun."

Managing director of Jun-Air Travel, Ms Jun Jiang, one of the three judges, said she was touched by their love story.

"They were the most compatible and natural couple (on stage)," she said.

This article was first published on June 16, 2014.
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