9th January, 2010, Red Hill, Australia
Thank you Harvey,
Welcome to this part of Ned and Olivia’s wedding. And on behalf of Margaret and Ned’s brother and sisters, welcome to our place at Red Hill.
This is a very special place for us as now all four of our children have been married on the hill up there. Each has been special in its own way, but before today, we’d never had the cavalcade of grandchildren precede the bride down the aisle. A sight I’ll not soon forget.
We particularly welcome the Carter clan and their friends, and look forward to catching up with you through the night, and tomorrow.
I just want to mention two things.
The first is that Ned is our lucky child. Good things happen to him with, how shall I put it, economy of effort. Later, his brother Tony may give examples of Ned’s ability to achieve terrific outcomes while simultaneously conserving maximum energy. It could be super-efficiency or it could be just luck. I’m going with a fair dose of luck.
Which brings me to Olivia. Here, Ned has excelled himself. He pulls the perfect match looking no further than the next street. Knock over a few trees, and he could almost see her front door from the couch. Even then it took him twenty-seven years to lift his eyes that high. But what a find when he finally did.
I’m sure others will speak at length about Olivia, but sufficient for me to say that she has been a wonderful addition to our family and we all love her very much.
The second thing is something I decided about nine years ago to say at Ned’s wedding. It concerns one of the best days of my life. I can’t remember where I was or what I was doing. Why this day is so special is that a particular thought crossed my mind. I then spent five quiet minutes testing whether it was true, and concluded that it was. Then I felt wonderful.
The reason is I could not recall one single time Ned had bad-mouthed a friend or complained about his or her character or personality. Can you imagine how good it feels to have a son who perpetually sees so much good in others, and if he sees short-comings, never thinks them important enough to make them the focus of his conversation. Ned personifies peace-on-Earth, goodwill to all men.
That day I was overwhelmed with pride, and Ned, I feel proud of you every single day, and I know Margaret, Samantha, Tony and Pippa join me in wishing you and Olivia the happiness two such intelligent, decent and loving people deserve.
Thank you, and enjoy the night.