W(v)ow: Alphonso couple returns to Dubai to celebrate 50th wedding anniversary

Dubai, Jul 14(BAN/CD): Indian couple, Jovito and Claudina Alphonso have returned to Dubai 14 years after their retirement to renew their vows at St Mary’s Catholic church, where they got married.

The couple told Khaleej Times, the secret to their long, happy married life is "In sickness and in health, in happiness and during troubled times, not once did we leave each other's side."

Jovito, 73 and Claudina, 71 from Goa, India were childhood friends and neighbors. When Claudina moved to Dubai in 1968, Jovito followed in search of work opportunities. Only July 8, 1969, the couple decided to get married after they realised they were in love. After living in Dubai for 35 years, they returned to Goa for retirement.

On July 8, 2019, the couple returned to Dubai to renew the vows they took 50 years ago. Their anniversary was celebrated in a grand manner with close family and friends.

The couple has three kids; Edwin Alphonso(49), Freeda D’Souza(45) and Ryan Alphonso(40). All three of them graduated from The Indian High School Dubai and two of them are currently working in Dubai, while Edwin lives in San Francisco, California. The couple has seven grandchildren.

Claudina used to work at the Dubai airport where she was the only Indian female security guard among predominantly Arab employees.

Jovito was an employee at Rashid Hospital where he worked for 33 years. He retired at the age of 52 as his children were well-settled with good jobs.

Speaking about her husband, Claudina said: "He is, and has always been like a guardian angel to me. He was always there with me as a partner, then and now." Due to a heart complication, Claudina's right leg had to be amputated. "Not once did he leave my side. He took good care of me. He didn't keep anyone else to take care of my needs, he did it all himself. My kids also came to my side," she said, Khaleej Times reported.

Jovito added: "Actually, I was always in love with her since Goa. Even when she got sick, we stood beside each other. Our children take good care of us as well." The couple said they've survived a lot of hardships together.

Claudina also admitted that she misses Dubai and that she visits Dubai when she goes to meet her kids once in every two years at least.

For their anniversary party, their daughter Freeda said everyone who has touched their lives in one way or the other was invited.

(Article published on UAE English daily 'Khaleej Times', authored by Dhanushka Gokulan is re-written for British Asia News by Cema Dsouza with author's consent)

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