Having the time of their lives celebrating love and marriage in later life

I WROTE a book a couple of years ago, My High-de-High Life which did quite well and since then have been asked quite often for updates on the lives of my partner, Sacha and I as two older gay men and how we are living our lives – busily and very well in spite of our advancing years.

I want to share with other seniors that there can be a wonderful life after turning 60 and especially for gay people – some I know who still find it very hard to just come out, let alone be public about their feelings.

The legalisation of gay marriage was a deeply moving day for us. We decided there and then to regularise our relationship after thirty years.

On Easter Saturday this year my partner of thirty years Sacha Mahboub and I were finally legally married at our workplace – The Mandurah Performing Arts Centre.

We exchanged vows on the mezzanine floor and as the sun set behind us. After that we moved into the theatre for the reception where the stage was decorated lavishly – as a surprise for me from my partner. It was without doubt the happiest day of our lives.

However it has been a long journey, but certainly a very worthwhile one, to reach this point.

I was a country boy raised by very strict but loving parents who in spite of their strong Catholic beliefs were finally able to come to terms with my homosexuality.

However sadly the same could not be said for Sacha who was raised in an orphanage in Rockhampton where he was horribly abused – sexually and emotionally.

Our life journey took us on very different paths on opposite sides of the world – me in London and Sach working in Australia in musical theatre – including being in the chorus of Funny Girl which starred Jill Perryman who is now a very special friend.

We met in 1988 in the offices of the most prolific Australian theatrical producer John Frost, the producer of My Fair Lady, Wicked, Book of Mormon etc, who was my friend of seven years in the early ‘80s.

During our time together Sach and I have had been involved with many exciting events and seen a great deal of change.

We brought the Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds to Australia to appear in the musical Irene at His Majesty’s here in Perth and became fast friends.

I actually wrote to Debbie as an eleven year old fan and she answered personally.

We have stayed in touch intermittently over the years, so it was a dream come true to have her work for us.

She was one of the kindest, funniest, most outrageous persons we have ever met. We loved her and she especially adored Sacha.

Our hearts were broken when Debbie and her daughter Carrie Fisher both passed away a day apart in 2016.

Since we moved to Mandurah we have both been working at The Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, me in the box office and Sacha as special events manager.

He also hosts the monthly Morning Melodies at the arts centre and has developed a large and loyal following.

A TV crew came to our home to film our reaction to the news that the Western Australian Government were to apologise to the gay community for the actions of various governments.

Another major issue in our lives this year has been the Royal Commission into Sexual Abuse in institutions and the redress scheme that has been finalised.

The saddest event has been losing my beloved mother. She adored us both and accepted us as partners unconditionally. She always introduced Sash as her son-in-law. After almost two years l still often go to dial her phone number. We miss her so very much.

We are happily ‘legal’ and have a group of friends who are so special that having them in our lives is like being embraced by a warm blanket of love.

We treasure each moment together because at 73 and 77 we are very aware that we have less time ahead of us than behind us.