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Opal Hunter finds his precious Gem

The happily married couple. Inset – Vicki Bokros, Pete Cooke and Andrew Kemeny with the Fire and Ice opal last year. Photo TWH

A Lightning Ridge love story

A momentous occasion unfolded on August 9, as beloved locals Pete Cooke and Jacqueline James sealed their commitment in matrimony.

In true Lightning Ridge fashion, the prelude to their nuptials included not one, but two honeymoons and a pair of spirited pre-wedding soirées (which were really dubbed prenup ****-ups).

A remarkable love story spanning twelve years saw Pete and Jacqui’s paths intertwine.

For Jacqui, matrimony had never been on the cards until Pete’s unexpected change of heart.

“I don’t know what came over me,” Pete confessed, reflecting on his sudden urge to marry.

The year had already marked a pivotal moment when Pete presented Jacqui with a sapphire and gold ring to symbolise their status of ‘going steady’, a gesture that would soon take on an unforeseen significance.

The inexplicable yearning to marry led Pete to ask for the ‘going steady’ ring back.

Although reluctant, Jacqui yielded, and it was then that Pete transformed the return into an impromptu proposal, sliding the ring back onto her finger.

The shock of the moment initially led Jacqui to believe it was all a joke until Pete’s earnestness shattered that notion.

Overwhelmed and overjoyed, she accepted his proposal with a resounding “yes.” […]

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