Saturday April 23, 2016

Random phone call leads to 46-year marriage for Winnipeg couple

Random phone call leads to 46-year marriage for Winnipeg couple 2:34

Finding love may not be easy, but for Winnipeg's Tomas and Carrie Yudai, it was as easy as picking up the phone. 

"When I was calling people, I wasn't looking for someone to get married," Tomas told CBC, remembering the day he met Carrie.

It was in November 1967. Tomas had moved to the Manitoba capital a week earlier, and after growing up in the Philippines and getting a second degree in California, it was the first time he had ever seen snow.

"After a week or so I had this idea that maybe I should find some new friends or get connected with other people,"  Tomas said. "I thought, 'Maybe I can find other Filipinos here,' so I went through the phone book looking for Filipino names."

After a few misses — the people he called turned out to be Portuguese — a Filipino woman picked up.

"She says, 'Come over, you know, we're having a party,'" Tomas recalled. "So I said, 'Great,' you know, 'Thank you,' and I got the address."

They didn't agree on a time, so Tomas remembers he showed up around 6 p.m., though Carrie says it was more like 5 p.m.

"There was no party yet. The first thing I know, I have Carrie coming out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel and that's how we met," Tomas said.

Party for doctors, nurses

"I didn't even know that my roommate invited somebody and that somebody was coming early," said Carrie. "Everything was a blur after that because I thought, 'This guy is so early and I'm not dressed.'" 

The Yudais

Cari was dating a doctor at the time, and Tomas says she "didn't even register," but the two kept getting together for dinners. On Dec. 26, 1967, a kiss. (Courtesy Tomas and Cari Yudai)

Carrie worked at the nearby Health Sciences Centre, and the party was for doctors and nurses — and that meant a lot of women and only a few men.

"Lots of single nurses and doctors [arrived], and he started flirting with all of the nurses," Carrie recalled, but Tomas said he doesn't remember that.

"I just remember there were a few guys there, and they were mostly doctors," he said.

Carrie was dating a doctor at the time, and Tomas says she "didn't even register," but the two kept getting together for dinners.

Tomas and Carrie Yudai now have 2 children and 4 grandchildren — including DNTO executive producer Iris Yudai — all thanks to that fateful phone call. 

EXTENDED: How Tomas and Cari Yudai met in 19673:04


Story written and produced by CBC Manitoba's Teghan Beaudette.