Seventy-four-year Ah Kau has been married to 70-year-old Siew Moi for 53 years. Ah Kau shared that his wife’s mother knew some of his relatives and it was eventually her friend who decided to introduce them both. Siew Moi hailed from Kota Tinggi, while he came from Singapore. After a year’s courtship, the two decided to get married and together they have a family made up of three children and three grandchildren. His secret to keeping his relationship strong: “You need to give and take”.
The couple has also supported each other outside of the home. They worked together while Ah Kau was running his provision shop in the Geylang and Upper Boon Keng areas for over 30 years, and they now volunteer together at voluntary welfare organisation for older persons,O'Joy Care Services. These first-time volunteers shared: “We have free time, and our children and grandchildren are big already.” And it helps that O’Joy’s centre is located near to where they live. They come to the centre four days per week for three hours and help out in a programme that gets older residents into exercise and drama.
As facilitators of the programme, they help in all kinds of ways including assessing the physical and mental well-being of the participants, translating instructions to the group, and other programme logistics. And they get to meet new people and rekindle some past friendships. Said Siew Moi, “We may have seen some of them in the past [when running the provision shop] but didn’t know them. They usually called me “Auntie, auntie”.” She added that their one-year volunteer experience has been positive – “Being at home can be very boring as we would be alone. Coming here, it is fun.”