In Pursuit of Love

Participating in hall activities, movies at nearby haunts and long strolls around school. These alumni lovebirds recall their years of courtship on campus.

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When Soh Ee Shaun (CS’05) got down on his knee, he did not present Caroline Heng (CS’05) with a ring, but an iPod mini. “I’m not a jewellery person,” Heng says with a chuckle. “The iPod mini was the in-thing during our time.”

The pair is one of several couples from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information who dated each other in school before getting married. The Class of 2005 produced what appears to be a bumper crop of nuptials — at least six couples who graduated that year went on to tie the knot.

For Soh and his wife, both lecturers at Republic Polytechnic, their love story began during their first year of school when they were living in Hall 2.

Soh, 35, recalls helping Heng, 33, at the dorm with all her computer-related issues like troubleshooting the network connection. Working for the Nanyang Chronicle in their second year drew them even closer. As features editor, Heng received free passes to events such as ZoukOut and Ricky Martin’s concert. Soh, then the paper’s graphics editor, tagged along to take photos for the publication.

“There were a couple of occasions where we went out on the basis of doing work for the Chronicle,” he says, grinning. During one such event, a drum and bass concert held at Fort Canning, Soh asked her to be his girlfriend. He remembers feeling “over the moon” when she agreed.

“In (school), if you can find each other, you stay together,” he adds. “I guess it’s just very mutual — the common interests.”

“For the romance of it, you walk under the moonlight after a movie at 12 o’clock. Those are the crazy things that you do when you’re in school."

Marcel Lee Pereira (CS’05), who dated Carol Loo (CS’05), agrees. “People with similar career aims … they come to the school and they meet like-minded people,” says Pereira, a digital sub-editor for The Straits Times. “So it’s very easy to build a relationship from there.”

Their romance started when Loo, 34, stayed late in school to complete a project for a radio communications course in their second year. “He just hung around waiting for me. After that, he walked me back to hall. We walked all the way back to Hall 10 — it’s quite a long walk,” she says.

The duo bonded while engaging in various hall activities. Pereira, 35, who was on his hall’s committee as a publications secretary, nominated Loo as the hall choir manager because of her background in singing.

On top of that, Loo, a self-confessed “party girl” back then, says she spent a lot of time studying in the university library with Pereira, who was on a scholarship. “He was (a positive influence), I may not have graduated (if not for him),” she says before bursting into laughter.

But the couple says they would not have exchanged vows six years ago had the stars not aligned.

Loo, a senior financial consultant at Prudential, says communication studies was not the first choice in her university application. In addition, she was enrolled into Pereira’s cohort only because she spent a year longer in junior college. “When you look back at your lives, it’s one of those chance meetings,” she adds. “If not for that, I would never have met him.”

Fate was also a factor for Linda Lee (CS’00) and Ang Aik Heng (CS’00), who started seeing each other in their third year, after Ang randomly agreed to accompany her to a Chinese pop concert.

“Somebody had extra tickets to some concert, so they gave it to me. I didn’t have anyone to go with,” Lee, 37, says.

“At the time, options were open. I’m just asking around; it could have been anyone. I happened to ask him, then he (agreed). Things just developed from there.”

Ang, 40, a freelance television producer, says, “After that concert, we had a long talk, so that was when we found that we had similar values.”

Lee says being in the same school helped their relationship blossom.

“Everything you do is within a specific context,” she says. “You can talk about your friends, teachers, subjects.” The duo also often made trips from school to Jurong Point on foot — a half an hour journey each way — to watch movies.

“For the romance of it, you walk under the moonlight after a movie at 12 o’clock,” says Lee, now a marketing manager at Singapore Press Holdings. “Those are the crazy things that you do when you’re in school.”