The Barret family relax at home.
The Barret family relax at home. The Northern Star

17 years married and all's well

ROLY and Sharon Barrett of Alstonville are proof teen love can last.

Unlike Linda Law and Glen Ramsey, featured on the front page of Wednesday's The Northern Star, who had to take their love to the courts for permission to get married, the Barretts had to leave the country.

And just like Ms Law and Mr Ramsey, the Barretts knew how they felt about one another despite their young ages - she was 16 and he was 18.

The couple met as students at Alstonville High School in 1991.

Mr Barrett said things developed quickly.

“It was pretty much a whirlwind,” he said.

When Mr Barrett proposed just months into their relationship, it was legal for a 16-year-old female to marry an 18-year-old male but, as their November wedding date approached, the law was changed.

The legal age for marriage for females was raised to 18.

“Everything was booked, the photographer, everything,” Mr Barrett said.

Mr Barrett's mother began to explore other options for the love-struck couple.

“We would have gone to Las Vegas if we had to,” he said.

Luckily, they didn't have to go that far. Mr Barrett's mother discovered that their union would be legal in New Zealand.

So, the two families boarded planes and headed across the Tasman for the wedding.

They married in the Domain in Auckland.

That was 17 years ago. Mr Barrett said their relationship was still going strong.

“It hasn't always been perfect, but we are now more in love than back then,” he said.

The Barretts now have two sons, Ezak, 12, and Odie, 8.

Mr Barrett wished Ms Law and Mr Ramsey all the best.

“Good on 'em,” he said.

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