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Garden Party perfect setting for Leap Year proposal

Tuesday 1 March 2016 9:20pm

Yulia-and-Josh-proposal-image
The happy couple - Yulia Pchelina and Josh Taylor - outside the Clocktower today, following Yulia's successful Leap Year proposal to Josh yesterday. Photo: Melanie Stevens.

Taking full advantage of Leap Year yesterday was Russian Management PhD candidate Yulia Pchelina, who overcame nerves to ask her partner Josh Taylor to marry her.

In front of a packed crowd at the Vice-Chancellor’s Annual Garden Party for new postgraduate students, Yulia got the yes she was hoping for.

"... someone reminded me about them a few days ago, and people in the Department have been asking me, 'when are you getting married', so I decided to do this."

Yulia and Josh met through social networking online, and the Otago Polytechnic civil engineering student joined her in Dunedin where they now both live at Abbey College, Otago’s residential college for postgraduate students.

“We’ve talked about marriage for quite some time,” Yulia said after the big event.

But while Josh was concerned about being able to afford “the big diamond she deserved”, Yulia decided to take matters into her own hands.

Leap Year proposals aren’t a custom in Russia, but “someone reminded me about them a few days ago, and people in the Department have been asking me, ‘when are you getting married’”.

“So I decided to do this.”

Abbey College Head, Dr Charles Tustin, said the couple have continued a happy tradition of students meeting and/or marrying at Abbey, which is New Zealand’s only postgraduate-exclusive residential college, and offers room for couples as well as individual students.