David Cooper (born in 1959) was engaged to be married in the early 1980s.
I remember thinking that I was lucky, like her parents let us go away to Perth for a weekend. My wife’s girlfriend’s parents were absolutely disgusted. So there was still that bit of, you know, let’s just pretend this doesn’t happen. But I was lucky with her parents. And my parents, it was never discussed with my parents, but her parents were happy. They weren’t worried about that. They were a bit more open thinking, but at that time there were still parents who would have not liked that, wouldn’t let you go away for a weekend somewhere and stay in a hotel with your girlfriend or something like that. My wife and I’s attitude towards that was, how stupid’s that because people are doing it in a car park down the beach. It’s more unsafe if you know what I mean. So it’s all a bit silly really.
Then I look back when I trace my family tree and you find out that your own mother was pregnant when she got married, and that my grandmother and her and her sisters left Tasmania to come to Melbourne so that you wouldn’t disgrace the family’s name because you were pregnant. I even found out that my grandmother’s sister got pregnant to her sister’s fiancée. So all this stuff, it’s always gone on. You’re never going to stop it. It’s just all a bit silly really.
Credit: David Cooper interviewed by Alistair Thomson in the Australian generations oral history project, ORAL TRC 6300/160, National Library of Australia. Recorded on 12 and 14 March 2013 in Melbourne, Victoria.