Sur­prise Mo­tat pro­posal trig­gers tears


Lisa Wood­ley had ‘‘ab­so­lutely no idea’’ a pro­posal was on the cards on a re­cent trip to Mo­tat with part­ner Chris Light.

As they went through the mu­seum gates Wood­ley, age 32, said she thought ‘‘what’s go­ing on here?’’.

Light, age 44, said their first date was at Mo­tat and he wanted to do some­thing spe­cial for the en­gage­ment.

The west Auck­land cou­ple are both wheel­chair users who met 16 years ago at Lyn­n­mall, and have been to­gether for more than two years. Now en­gaged, Wood­ley said she will change her name to ‘‘Lisa Light’’ which has a ‘‘a real sparkle to it.’’

Mo­tat spokes woman Vanessa He­fer said they ar­ranged for an ap­proved tem­po­rary wheel­chair ramp to be at­tached to The Chapel of Good Shep­herd, in Mo­tat’s his­toric vil­lage.

Light said the pro­posal was in­side the chapel, and his fi­ance was ‘‘all tears’’ when he pro­posed.

She said she was ‘‘ab­so­lutely blown away’’, and it was cool to get en­gaged at the old church.

Be­ing en­gaged feels really won­der­ful and the pro­posal was such a sur­prise, she said. She said the ring is beau­ti­ful and she couldn’t be­lieve he picked it.

Light said one of his col­leagues at the Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy Foun­da­tion helped or­gan­ise it weeks prior to the event.

He said Mo­tat made it so easy and or­gan­ised a pho­tog­ra­pher.

He­fer said Mo­tat wanted to make a spe­cial ef­fort and it was about be­ing com­mu­nity fo­cused.

The ramp was at­tached to the her­itage build­ing which is one of Mo­tat’s col­lec­tion items, and can­not be al­tered in any way, she said.

Ac­cord­ing to Mo­tat the build­ing was for­merly St Saviour’s Church in Block­house Bay and was built in 1898. It has a bell tower that is sup­ported by a Celtic cross at each end.

Light said he is still get­ting used to be­ing en­gaged and is look­ing for­ward to the next step in their re­la­tion­ship. He said Lisa is a really quiet per­son and has a good sense of hu­mour, and they get on pretty well.

Wood­ley said they haven’t set a wed­ding date but will be able get a clas­sic car for it, through her brother.

Light cur­rently works at the Mus­cu­lar Dys­tro­phy As­so­ci­a­tion and does na­ture pho­tog­ra­phy in his spare time.

Wood­ley said that Light has been a big sup­port with her health and now ‘‘it’s the light at the end of the tun­nel’’.

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