Drama studio teacher Sharon Rother and her husband, Gavin, celebrated 31 years of marriage in November.
The two attended the same church and met at a youth group meeting.
“The first time we really met was when I needed a partner to go with me to my friend’s 21st birthday and someone suggested him.
“I called him but he couldn’t make it as he played soccer for [the then] UPE at the time, but he insisted we meet some other day,” Sharon said.
And meet they did! They became friends and realised they were in love with each other just six months later.
At the time, Gavin served in the army – one of the reasons why Sharon is convinced he proposed so early in their relationship. “I think he was scared he would lose me once he went off to the army.”
Gavin – a keen surfer – proposed at Hobie Beach in 1982.
“It was not really a surprise, as we both knew it would happen some day,” Gavin said.
The Walmer couple married at the Mater Dei Catholic Church on November 26 1983 and held their reception at the Hellenic Hall.
The couple recalled their wedding day: “It was a big wedding with lots of friends and family; a traditional white dress.
“It was a happy event with lots of out-of-town visitors as well as international visitors. We had our honeymoon in the Transkei.”
Friendship, compatibility and respect kept their marriage going for 31 years, they said.
The Rothers have two children, Andrew, 25, and Kelly, 23, who have both taken after their parents.
Andrew surfs with his dad and Kelly is a costume designer who works closely with Sharon on theatre projects.
“Gavin is calm and caring and offers great support at all times. He is a fabulous father who has a brilliant relationship with both our children,” Sharon said.
“Sharon is the most undramatic drama teacher I know and is very real and balanced.
“She is a phenomenal mother and has managed to balance her home and career,” Gavin said.
They are planning to celebrate their anniversary this month.
– Sinesipho Mbandazayo