Melbourne, June 25 : Right after his wedding day, an Australian man discovered that he had already been married to someone else - for 30 years.
The 67-year-old learned the news from US immigration authorities when he applied to live in Hawaii with his new wife.
The man claimed he didn't remember walking down the aisle with the blonde American he had had a drunken fling with in 1978, despite the signed official Arizona document.
In his testimony to the Family Court, the husband confessed that he spent 28 days partying and drinking in Arizona in 1978 on leave from his job as a cook on the oil rigs. And all he could remember was that he met a "nice" blonde American woman through a penpal newspaper advertisement and nothing else.
"He has no recollection of going through any form of ceremony of marriage with her, or of discussing marriage, or of anything referable to marriage," The Daily Telegraph quoted Justice Sally Brown, who annulled the marriage last month, as saying.
The man who describes himself as an old-fashioned romantic, said that "the sky fell in" when he was shown the Arizona marriage licence.
"I looked at the signature and thought it could have been mine or it could not have been," he said.
Since then, the man has divorced his 1966 wife and the news of the 1978 Arizona wedding was broken to him by the US immigration authorities, when he applied to live in Hawaii with his latest wife, whom he married in 2006.
He said that his latest wife, who has become his girlfriend again because their marriage was declared invalid, was very understanding.
"We have been with each other on and off for over 20 years in Australia. She's a terrific, a top cook. She looks after me and I take care of her. I couldn't find anything better. I'm an old-fashioned guy. I'm loving and I believe that for a marriage to work, it has to be a two-way street. She does the washing, I hang it out on the line," he said.
Meanwhile, the Family Court came to know that he had tried to track down his 1978 wife but she had subsequently married again in 1993 in Arizona, which would have been bigamous if she had not already divorced her Australian husband.
"Other than that, no one knows where she is," said the man, who refused to be identified.
He claimed that now he was officially single and is planning to marry his Hawaiian girlfriend properly.