He thought if he 'put his knee down' he'd be washed away

Englishman Troy Thorpe and Kiwi Lu Conroy look fondly at their baby son Leo as they recall a...
Englishman Troy Thorpe and Kiwi Lu Conroy look fondly at their baby son Leo as they recall a memorable moment on Long Beach. PHOTO: JACK CONROY

Allied Press reporter Jack Conroy talks to a young couple about their favourite place in the region.


Englishman Troy Thorpe's attempt to propose to his Kiwi girlfriend Lu Conroy did not go exactly to plan.

The pair were down at Long Beach, their favourite place in Dunedin, where, unbeknown to Miss Conroy, Mr Thorpe was planning to pop the question.

"She was dressed up really nice, then when she found out we were going to the beach she decided to change into a T-shirt and some track pants,'' Mr Thorpe said.

"But then I thought, I'm going to marry her anyway, so what does it matter what she's wearing?''

But when they got to the beach, things did not improve.

"He kept asking if we could move up the beach away from the wet sand. I kept asking why did it matter?'' Miss Conroy said.

"I thought if I put my knee down in it I'd get washed away by the waves,'' Mr Thorpe said.

But he eventually thought he had to take his opportunity.

Fortunately, she said yes. The pair have been together for a year now and have a baby son called Leo.

Miss Conroy's parents had a house in Long Beach, where she had spent much of her childhood riding bikes and exploring the outdoors.

"We went swimming, had water fights. I even learned to ride my bike there,'' said Miss Conroy.

"I chose the location because I knew how special it was to her,'' said Mr Thorpe.

Mr Thorpe was originally from Yorkshire, and said he was looking forward to starting a new life in New Zealand.

Miss Conroy said these days, she liked going to Long Beach because of the peace and quiet it offered and the opportunity to unwind.

"You can really recharge your batteries. No phone, no internet. Beautiful scenery,'' she said.

"I find it allows me to consolidate my thoughts,'' said Mr Thorpe.

- By Jack Conroy

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