And they lived happily ever after . . .

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. . . She did not die, dear reader, she got married.

Today, 9 January, 2018, is the first day in Australia we could legally marry. So we did. At  home in Currarong with a stunning celebrant (Meryl McGinn) and two witnesses.

Frances Maree Rand and I, Barbara Helen Farrelly,  have been as a wife to each other, in everything but name.  Today, I feel both grateful and blessed that our relationship is, finally, lawful. Frances was all about visibility when she founded LOTL (Lesbians on the Loose) magazine and today the State can finally “see” us.

On March 14 this year, we will have been together 25 years.

Thank you to our sprawling families, now legally merged, and to friends who have kept the long vigil and kept us afloat. I breathe for you.

A special thank you to fellow activists (living and dead) who make change possible and continue to fight for social justice and liberation. (“Stick it to the man” and “keep your rosaries off our ovaries”).  And thank you to my palliative care doctors, (Dr Laura and Dr Jen specially), my specialist Dr Greg, nurses and medical support crew down the South Coast.

Most of all, thank you to my wife.

And thank you for my life.

Arohanui and Ma Te Wa – that’s all folks, really.



15 thoughts on “And they lived happily ever after . . .

  1. Wow. The emotions are overflowing at the moment Barb & Frances. Congratulations. We weren’t there physically but were with you emotionally and spiritually. Much love from your family in the eastern isles.


    • Thank you biowoman6. You know you had a special role in our wedding but for the sake of your privacy I have not identified our witnesses, both of whom we cherish. When you were asked to hold our rings, we felt blessed by your presence and also felt that you were portals to our loved ones, here and gone, who in other circumstances would have been among our guests, if possible. We both felt the presence of spcial people in our loungeroom that day. Thank you for you wisdom and for reaching out when this illness left me so isolated. You know what I mean and I love you very much. Thank you. Barb x


  2. Beautiful words Barb. So happy for you and Frances – you both look so thrilled to finally be officially married! Wishing you both all the best and lots of love for the rest of your married lives together. We love you both very much. Love Toni, Paul, Michael, Matthew and Emily. xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Toni, you and Paul and the Rands (and Judy too) have been my Aussie family for nearly 25 years. I think we all met our partners in the same year, or close enough. I have watched your three beautiful children grow into lovely young people and I am honoured to be legally part of your family.
      Toni, your gentleness and thoughtfulness have been so appreciated over the years. Thank you. Paul too. What a cracker of a brother in law. Go the Wallabies.


  3. Wow. So exciting. Congratulations Barb & Frances. We weren’t there with you physically on your special day but were spiritually and emotionally. Lots of love from your whanau in the eastern isles.


  4. “And they danced by the light of the moon…” 😙
    Thx for msg via Chris, dear Barb. And now the story, the words, the beautiful shining picture of you two wives together!
    What a joy – for you two (much more than two individuals), and for all of your cheer-squad, we who are in solidarity, allies, family and friends. Thank you!
    ‘The owl and the pussycat’ will never be the same again 😜
    You have been a couple for nigh on 25 years, now there is the state’s recognition and honouring of your twosomeness, and our blessing…
    Now may you dance in each other’s arms by the light of the moon (the noon), may yiu dance by the light if the moon.
    Warm solidarity cheering for you from this side of the Ditch, Barb n Frances…
    And arohanui, indeed xxx thank you! 😍


    • So what’s this “previously” of Currarong business, my friend. When did you leave us? Why?
      Wherever you are, thank you for your gracious interactions with this blog over time. A valued and special reader.
      Arohanui. x Barb


  5. Barb and Frances !

    Amazing news. You both look wonderful and so happy. Congratulations. ❤️👏🏻

    Barb, I was in Norwood the other day, and I thought of Don Dunstan – as you know it was 1975 when he ensured south Australia was the first state to make homosexuality legal. I then thought of you as I drove near your old street off The Parade.
    Shortly after I caught up with Jules and Darren. The whole sequence was like traveling down a time vortex filled with strong and vibrant memories. I had Susan with me and was trying to explain the time and the mood … but it just didn’t translate :).

    I posted my comments to you twice but kept getting logged out … my other comments were much more convoluted, so if they appear magically you’ll understand why. Much love to you both, Jarv

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Barb and Frances
    Congratulations on your wedding, I am so happy for you. It has been years ! And I did not really know where you had gone or what had happened to you since the end of Lotl many wonderful memories from those days, and The Feminist Bookshop, also now gone. My very best wishes and love to you both for these precious days and moments
    Gail Hewison

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Gail, we are so touched by your words about LOTL. What a surprise! The last couple of posts in my blog will tell you where we are at with my failing health, but even so, perhaps you have guessed, rightly, that the last 18 years down the South Coast have been filled with healing and peace. We were changed by Currarong, the place local Aborigines called “the home of the wind spirit”. I had a close mutual friend, Navi, who before she died, would keep me apprised of your life from time to time. Frances, at 57, is retired, and in great shape.

      In Mardi Gras’s 40th year, to me, you (and Libby) are among those pioneers who made so much difference to the lives of lesbians.
      We hope time has been kind to you and would love to hear more about your current life. And your sisters, we hope they too are well.
      Although I am in palliative care, being married to Frances closes the circle.

      Love from the both of us, Gail, with respect and admiration for your years of building community and for being a strong role model for women and lesbians. And for the best bookshop ever . . .
      Love Barb and Frances xxx

      PS, our marriage made the local paper!


  7. Jarv!
    I’m writing you an email soonish when my energy is back but I wanted to thank you and step back and admire how our lives are braided together. I regret we didn’t see each other or get to meet your beautiful wife, Susan, when you were in recently Australia. Although I have survived, my strength is waning and my lung function down to 8%!

    I got a new lease of life getting married. (I love using words previously barred to us: like bethrothed, wife, fiancee, plighting my troth, etc. ). Our gorgeous celebrant told me the ring is placed on the finger that has an artery leading to the heart. I had no idea. We exchanged Claddaghs to mark our Celtic ancestry.

    I love being married; it is a very buoyant and energising feeling and it is my hope that many of us get to experience something denied to us for so long. Our liberation was always based on visibility.

    Thank you Jarv for your long and winding friendship and I’m so happy you saw Australia through Susan’s eyes.

    More soon, much love and blessings, Barb and Frances xx


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