Moya and Norm Sharp are like chalk and cheese.
Moya, a historian and geneologist, (Western Australian Virtual Miners Memorial Outback Family History Website and blog), prefers to stay close to home. But she says Norm, who is partner and sales manager at First National, is much more outgoing. “He’s a real party animal, he loves going out and socialising, whereas I don’t like socialising,” she says. “But you don’t have to be exactly the same to be happy.”
Norm’s party animal nature was evident when the the couple met at Sylvester’s nightclub in the late 80’s. “He was very, very good looking, very sure of himself, very self confident,” remembers Moya, who was on a brief visit to Kalgoorlie to visit her cousin.
Their first date, a few days later, was eventful, to say the least. “He threw up on my shoes,” says Moya, who was then 32, while Norm was a younger man at 29. “I’d picked him up, and he’d been at a Christmas party and obviously had too much to drink.”
Despite the mishap, love blossomed, and Moya eventually made the decision to move herself and her two young sons from Perth to be with Norm, 18 months after they met. “It was a big leap of faith,” Moya says of the decision to move her family across the state.
“I’d been on my own for about five years and I was going to stay single, I just thought (marriage) wasn’t for me.”
Norm is Kalgoorlie born-and-bred, and Moya initially found being a newcomer hard, despite his family’s warm welcome.
“Kalgoorlie was more of a laid-back country town then, and I didn’t know anybody. I was quite lonely until I started making my own friends. Norm was such a social guy, with a massive family, and I was starting from scratch,” she says.
The couple, who had three children between them from previous relationships when they met, added to their clan when daughter Sarah was born in 1991. Six months later, they married in friends Bill and Carmel McKenzie’s backyard. A few year later son Ben was born. Tragically, the couple’s second-eldest son Andy was killed at the Superpit in 2004, at just 22.
“We’ve got five kids between us, but we’ve never used the words step-kids, or step-sisters or brothers, we’ve just said they’re our kids,” Moya says. “Anyone who says blended families don’t work is wrong, because they all get on, they all call each other brother and sister. There’s no difference between blood and non-blood related.”
Moya’s love of the Goldfields grew and the couple share a passion for region’s history. They also share a love of their pets; two beloved chihuahuas, and five cats.
“Above all, we’re really good friends” Moya says.