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Engaged at their Probus Meeting

It all started back in mid-2016 while Gloria was working as a Lotto Lady at the local supermarket. Gloria’s colleague approached the couple she was serving (Arnold and his wife - whom she knew) and said, “Look after this lady as she has just come back to work after the passing of her husband from cancer.”

A few months later, Arnold also lost his wife to cancer.

In 2017, Arnold asked Gloria out for a coffee, claiming he wanted a woman’s advice on a certain subject. Gloria apologized and declined, as she knew nothing about the subject in question.

In 2018, Arnold asked Gloria out for coffee again. This time she accepted. Arnold later told her that he had said to himself “If she doesn’t accept this time, that’s it.”

In the winter months, when Gloria was working late on Lotto nights, Arnold didn’t like the idea of her driving the 40kms home on dark, frosty nights. He insisted she stay at his place.

Then covid arrived. Gloria was off work due to medical reasons and Arnold didn’t want to stay in his close neighbourhood, so he came out to stay at Gloria’s for the period she was off work.

After a while, they decided they couldn’t live separately. Gloria put her house and some furniture on the market.

Arnold was a member of the Rolleston Combined Probus Club, which Gloria joined.

At the March 2022 meeting, there was a very interesting speaker: Richard Merchant, a Celebrant.

After the meeting Arnold said, “If I ever get married again, that is the type of person I would like to do it.” Quick as a flash, Gloria responded “OK, when will it be?”

After pencilling in a day between their birthdays – which turned out to be too soon to organise getting their O.S. children home to attend – Gloria suggested the anniversary of their first coffee date.

When Gloria told her Sydney-based daughter, she replied “Oh no, we plan to come over the following week for the school holidays!”

The wedding date was changed to the week after their anniversary.

When Gloria rang the celebrant, and asked if he’d marry them, he laughed. He apologized and said normally when he gets a phone call from somebody that has heard him speak at an older group, it’s usually for him to conduct a funeral not a wedding. He was very honoured to marry the couple.

At the first Probus meeting after the marriage, Mr and Mrs Tibbotts were welcomed like heroes.