Wedding

June 8, 2013 at 5:13 pm Leave a comment

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I would like to start by making it clear that any dodgy, unfunny,or insulting material in what follows was provided by a certain Captain Malcolm Stacy “Smithy” Smith of Qatar, Deborah’s husband, who,rather foolishly, couldn’t be with us here today.

And, any glimpses of emotion I may display are entirely for effect and should not be considered as genuine.

Obviously (I hope) I am not the father-of-the-bride. I am Rebecca’s brother-in-law, and Pat and Rebecca’s late dad’s, proud representative here today. And I know that Ken would also have been a very proud and extremely happy man. Somewhat relieved. And, very grateful as another one bites the dust!

monopolyClearly I am not able to share Ken’s personal memories of his little girl growing up. Memories such as strange games of Monopoly with her sisters, when all of the little green houses would mysteriously disappear, only to be discovered later hidden in Rebecca’s underwear. A strange place to conceal treasure. I wonder if there’s a lesson there for you, Joel? Never play Monopoly with Rebecca. At least, not without disinfecting first.

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Memories of constant, relentless, repeated, replays of “Oliver”, her favourite musical. Of collections of Trolls and Strawberry Shortcake dolls, and My Little Pony. Rebecca has always been a little princess.image

But, for the last twenty years or so Rebecca has been my little sister and I have watched her grow up from the cute, curly, brunette-haired little ten-year old princess – the baby of the family – into the beautiful, mysteriously blonde young lady we see before us today. And, Rebecca, you do look beautiful today.

Rebecca has come far from her hometown of Royston Vasey. I have witnessed her successes academically and in her chosen careers as a “Human Resources” specialist, whatever one of those is, and as a coffee bar barista. She does look good in an apron.

I have also witnessed and welcomed her improving choice in men…..Improving.

I would have added the word “sophisticated” to my description of Rebecca but photographs of her in the tabloids stalking TV soap stars, YouTube clips of her table-surfing in the boardroom, tales of “toilet rage” in London coffee houses, and certain Facebook postings from the hen do in Ibiza, suggest that she is still more of a” work in progress” in the sophistication department.

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I do, however, and reluctantly, have to compliment Pat, for naming Rebecca Louise so appropriately.

Rebecca is from the Hebrew to “bind”, and appears in Genesis as a maiden of beauty, modesty and kindness. Louise is old German for “famous warrior”.

So, a beautiful, modest, kind, warrior-lady who keeps things together. In my experience, Rebecca does indeed remain calm. And she carries on. She fights hard for everything she wants and holds dear and is the consummate diplomat in finding a way through the “occasional” Pover family dispute and intrigue. She may be the baby of the family but she has a wise head on those elegant shoulders.

I know I am also supposed to use this opportunity to welcome Joel into our family. But in truth, Joel has already been a full and welcome member of our family for some nine years now. Ken often referred to him as being “a lovely lad”. But then again, Ken did also call him Noel for the first two years or so.

Joel’s integration into the family has been relatively easy. His polite, parent-pleasing manners are a stark contrast to the other sisters’ chosen partners, especially Smithy. Joel, we made it all so very easy for you. We made you look better than you are and you should be very grateful.

But, Joel is indeed a “lovely lad”. A gentleman. Smart. Sporty. Fun. Fashionable. Well-travelled. And caring. He is considerate – at least he is now that we have trained him that it is appropriate to bring a bottle when staying with people. He is successful – or at least he will be if he ever finds any oil instead of unexploded mines.

Joel you are a real credit to your parents, John and Jane. And you are a credit to yourself. We have already spent many great times together and some poignant times, and both Smithy and I are proud today to be able to formally call you brother.

We welcome you Joel to that special “Band of Brothers” who have married a Pover woman, and who know how to lie about Pat’s cooking, how to do as you’re told, to duck, and who understand that proving you are right is not always the clever tactic to deploy even when you are.

You can also tell a lot about people by the friends that they keep.

And Rebecca and Joel are blessed with a close circle of friends some of which date back to the first days of school; friends from university and new friends from travels and work. Friends who will offer them support, advice, and copious amounts of alcohol as they continue on their journey together.

But in the meantime, it is my turn to impart a few words of wisdom about marriage which will set you on the right path. I remember telling Debs and Smithy just last year that the most important words to keep in mind are “I’m sorry I was wrong” and that remains true for you two as well. For your time together will not be without mistakes, Joel.

You are genuinely lovely people, individually, and an even more lovely couple together. You have already demonstrated a strong commitment to each other and a willingness to compromise to build your careers and to make your lives together better.

And so, the only real advice that I can give to you two is to remember this. If you only ever have each other in your life moving forward, then you will have all that you need.

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Ladies and gentlemen, please raise a glass to Joel and Rebecca, Mr and Mrs Clemence.

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Australian Adventures Part Four Terrorism at the Front Door

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