Today is my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary. 30 years of happy marriage. 30 years of a free life together.
My parents met in the 1970s in South Africa. My Dad was there from England, working as an engineer. My Mum, a coloured South African, lived in Cape Town. They met at a party and for the four years they courted, they took a big risk. Apartheid ruled South Africa. If my parents had been caught or dobbed in to authorities, my Mum may have been sent to gaol.
It’s kind of the INXS song, Original Sin.
So in order to legally be together, they moved to Australia in January 1981. I am so proud of what they did for love. Moving countries. Leaving their families, friends and jobs. They had to get married within a month of arrival or Mum would have had to return to South Africa.
They married in Centennial Park in Sydney on 28 February 1981. The wedding was incredibly inexpensive – this makes me even more proud – a wedding on a shoestring that has lasted for 30 years. Less than $100, would you believe?!
Moving to Australia didn’t absolve my parents of challenges. Things became difficult when I was born. They had me, a severely unwell baby, with no family support, and new to a small town. I was in hospital for months at a time, 300 km away from home. It was tough for my parents, financially and emotionally, but they made it through. We survived it as a family.
It is nice to see them together – they make each other laugh. And when they’re apart, they talk each other up. They moved to Australia for a better life, and I think they’ve made a pretty damn good life for themselves. They live on an idyllic piece of land, travel on holidays regularly, have lots of friends and eat well.
I always say, if Mum and Dad could make a good life for themselves, anyone can.
Happy Anniversary, Mum and Dad. You’re awesome, I love you both.