It’s a marriage 40 years in the making.
Gloucester’s Robert Sparke and Bruce Myers are officially married after a ceremony on Saturday, June 9 surrounded by family and friends.
They are the first Gloucester same-sex couple to come out publicly about tying the knot.
The pair have been together since July 1978, becoming partners at a time when their relationship was a criminal act, a law not change in NSW until May 1984.
It was shortly after the House of Representatives passed a bill to amend the Marriage Act, allowing same-sex couples to be legally married, that Bruce popped the question to Robert.
They set to work to plan their wedding looking to line it up a few factors - Bruce’s 80th birthday, their 40th anniversary, a long weekend (so family and friends could make the journey to Gloucester) and the anniversary of their move to Gloucester.
Both fell in love with Gloucester, opted to move here 11 years ago and have never looked back.
“The Gloucester community has always been supportive of us,” Robert said.
“There has been no negativity toward us in town.”
They are overwhelmed with the well-wishes they have received.
Bruce is especially happy he was able to see the day he could marry the love of his life.
“At 80 years of age, I didn’t think I was going to see it,” Bruce said.
“I knew it was going to happen and that things were changing but I wasn’t sure if I would be here for it.
“But I made it,” he laughed.
“It was the happiest day of my life.”
This sentiment is echoed by Robert.
“Marriage is a way of confirming what we already have,” Robert said.
“We met, we fell in love, just like everyone else.”
Bruce and Robert were married by a celebrant in Pioneer Memorial Gardens, Gloucester District Park in front of the family and friends who are so important to them.
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