‘One-in-a-million’ role for Rotto lovers

Brendon and Ruth McLaughlin with sons Finn (2) and Noah (5). Picture: Andrew Ritchie                     www.communitypix.com.au   d447708Inset: Brendon and Ruth McLaughlin on their wedding day.
‘One-in-a-million’ role for Rotto lovers
Brendon and Ruth McLaughlin with sons Finn (2) and Noah (5). Picture: Andrew Ritchie         www.communitypix.com.au d447708Inset: Brendon and Ruth McLaughlin on their wedding day.

BRENDON and Ruth McLaughlin got married at the Rottnest Island Chapel on May 1, 2008.

Seven years later, they are living on the island with their two sons, Noah (5) and Finn (2).

Mrs McLaughlin said she had travelled to Rottnest on her parents’ boat her whole life and loved it.

“When we were trying to figure out where to get married, we wanted a wedding without the complicated parts – so no vehicles or distance between the wedding and reception,” she said.

“Everyone stayed from Wednesday to Sunday so it was like a big party with family and friends and, being in May, we had the island to ourselves.”

Mr McLaughlin moved to the tourist destination as the Rottnest Island Authority fire and emergency services manager in January, and his wife and children followed in October.

The firefighter of 10 years said it was a “one-in-a-million” job.

“It’s a dream life to work on an island that’s so different from the mainland,” Mr McLaughlin said.

“It’s close enough to go back for coffee or a haircut when you want to.”

The couple is among many who have married at the chapel since 1873 and this month the community celebrated the 50th anniversary of its rededication.

The chapel was built in about 1858 but closed in 1903, and was used for staff quarters and storage.

In 1965 the Anglican Church took responsibility for ministry to visitors and residents, and on December 11 that year Archbishop George Appleton hosted the re-dedication service.

The Reverend Michael Wood has been at the chapel since 2009.