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Forced Apart as Teens, Interracial Couple Reunites 40 Years Later, to Tie the Knot

The couple had to wait 18 more months due to the pandemic restrictions but now in June this year, Penny flew to New Providence island in the Bahamas to meet Mark. (Image for representation/Shutterstock)

The couple had to wait 18 more months due to the pandemic restrictions but now in June this year, Penny flew to New Providence island in the Bahamas to meet Mark. (Image for representation/Shutterstock)

The couple have also penned a book on their tragic yet happy love story spanning 40 years and named it 'Thirty-Nine Years In The Wilderness'.

A couple who were forced to go their separate ways when they were teenagers because they belonged to different races have been brought together by fate, and social media of course! Nearly 40 years after Penny Umbers and Mark Bethel met and then had to break up, the couple is now getting to share a life together after they found each other on Facebook. Umbers, 60, who is a UK resident is shifting base to the Bahamas where Bethel lives after the couple gets hitched. Daily Mail reported that a 16-year-old Penny had met Bethel in the 1970s where the latter had moved from Nassau in the Bahamas for college. The duo studied at different universities in London but had fallen in love when Umbers’ father met with Bethel unknowing to her and warned him that he could get his scholarship revoked if he continued his romantic relationship with Penny.

Bethel’s family was also against him dating a white girl and facing such pressure from all sides, Bethel was forced to make what he calle the ‘hardest decision of my life’.

Reports said after Bethel was forced to break up the relationship, Umbers quit college and later went through two unsuccessful marriages.

Bethel, who had studied travel and tourism management also went on with his work around the world and had been divorced once.

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And close to 40 years later, the couple have been brought together by a stroke of luck and most importantly, fate. Towards the end of 2019, Bethel found a profile on Facebook which he thought might be Penny and messaged her, “Is this Penny?"

“And then it was!" he said.

The couple had to wait 18 more months due to the pandemic restrictions but now in June this year, Penny flew to New Providence island in the Bahamas to meet her long-lost love.

“There was that feeling of reuniting," she was quoted as saying. “But it was like we hadn’t changed one iota." She came back early in October and Bethel lost no time to propose which she accepted.

The couple have also penned a book on their tragic yet happy love story spanning 40 years and named it ‘Thirty-Nine Years In The Wilderness’.

Bethel was quoted as saying, “We have had 39 lost years but we are looking forward to a really great future."

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first published:October 26, 2021, 16:48 IST