Tutus say 'I do' again at 60th anniversary celebration

2015-07-02 15:21
The Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu presided over the vows of her parents Desmond and Leah on their 60th wedding anniversary. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

The Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu presided over the vows of her parents Desmond and Leah on their 60th wedding anniversary. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - The bride gave her groom an impatient, but resigned look and walked into the church - on her own.

Because as Leah Tutu has learned by now, there was no rush when her husband Desmond - fondly called "The Arch" - always got sidetracked greeting people. So on Thursday, when the couple arrived at the St George's Cathedral in Cape Town to renew their vows after 60 years of marriage, she just gave the former archbishop a slightly annoyed look as she made her way to the entrance.

“Come now!” she called out to Tutu as he greeted friends and well-wishers who had met them at the car.

“He is greeting everyone,” she said, exasperated. “We are going to be late for the service!”

Sixty years after saying "I do", Leah and Desmond Tutu celebrated their anniversary surrounded by family and friends.

They were married in 1955, reportedly a week after the Freedom Charter was signed in Kliptown.

Outside the church, one guest described the milestone as an example of “how blessed a marriage can be if it has God at its centre”.

“In an age where divorce no longer raises any eyebrows, it is refreshing to see one last this long,” another commented.

In his sermon, Reverend Canon Professor Barney Pityana described the young Tutu, who in 1984 was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, as “full of love” while he was still dating Leah.

“He was never shy to express it. He was so consumed by love for her that he would whisper sweet nothings in her ear and express his love in poetic terms,” he said.

The couple’s daughter Reverend Canon Mpho Tutu presided over the vows.

As the pair repeated their vows after Mpho, citing "for better or for worse", Leah improvised:  “For better and better…”.

Moments before the former archbishop had acknowledged Leah as his wife again with a boyish giggle and mumbled “I do”.

At the end of the service, the doting husband sealed the celebration with a kiss.

“Goggo, thank you very much. Without you, I will not be anywhere near where God has taken me without you. I owe all that I am to you… Even if you put up placards that say ‘You are entitled to your wrong opinion’,” he admitted to laughs from the guests.

The couple has four children and seven grandchildren. 

A second service to celebrate the milestone will be held on Saturday at the Holy Cross Anglican Church in Soweto.

Read more on:    desmond tutu  |  cape town

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