5 April, 2014, Barwon Heads, Victoria, Australia
Ladies and gentleman it’s my great pleasure to welcome you here to Portrush for the wedding of Hamish Brooks and Charlotte Molesworth.
My name’s Tony Wilson, I like to think I’m many things to the bride and groom, but for the purposes of today, you mainly need to know that I introduced them to Klop.
What a wonderful occasion.
This place is so special to the bride and groom,Most of you know that they’ve lived here, ghost and Mrs Muir style for nearly four years. Hamish paddling on the Barwon and returning to his beloved every night with a haul of fish. Charlotte polishing the old silver and taking notes from this book I found upstairs ‘Great Hostesses of the mid twentieth century’.
Portrush is a place that is so special to all of us. It became part of the Hay family in 1922, and here we are, nearly a century later, bracing ourselves for the very difficult task of saying goodbye. I remember Mr Hay, Char’s beloved grandpa, who might be an equal contender for the absence that looms largest over today, I remember Mr Hay telling me that when he was a kid, Portrush’s phone number was ‘8’. I said, what do you mean 8, and he said, 8. That was the phone number here. There were a couple of dozen houses on the barwon heads exchange, and we were number 8.’
It’s been the venue of many historic occasions. Christina, Char’s aunt, tied the knot on this very riverbank 30 odd years ago, on a hot blustery Saturday that tempted partygoers to rip off dresses and suits and plunge into the Barwon. As an avid reader of ‘Great Hostesses of the Mid Twentieth century’ — char will be having none of that ...
Who am I kidding ... Char is the most infamous winter swimmer in the room. I doubt that she’ll hold off until 8pm.
As MC, I have a few administrative tasks:
First, phones to silent. Hamish has a very important fantasy football game this weekend, so naturally he is allowed to stare at his phone, but to the rest of you - try to show some discipline.
Caroline Molesworth - mother of the bride
I want to start by welcoming the wonderful mother of the bride, Caroline Molesworth. I’ve noticed that Hamish already calls Caroline by the family nickname of ‘Canny’, which I find surprising because when I asked her if I could, she told me, ‘actually I’d probably prefer Caroline’. This suggests that Caroline already likes Hamish quite a bit more than me, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he gets the nicer David Jones shirt this Christmas.
When I told my daughter Polly I was MC today, she said, ‘Dad dad, can you tell a knock knock joke?’
And I said, oh, well, I don’t know that many ... and she said, pleeeeease ... and I said .. okay. I’ll try and tell one. So here it goes ...
Knock Knock, who’s there, the bride, the bride who,
No in this case I think it’s ‘the bride whom ... ‘
Please welcome a woman who knows her whos from her whoms, her 6 letter words from her 7s, and who is a wonderful generous hostess, at least worthy of half a page in the new edition of Great Hostess of the Mid 20th century ... Caroline ... or should just say ‘Canny’ Molesworth ...
Ben Hunter - best man
Our first speaker tonight is Ben Hunter ... Ben secured the role of best man after a strong white- anting performance, in which he spread false rumours about other leading candidates while employing a leading PR firm to pump up his own credentials. Not that they needed any pumping up. Ben is an old schoolmate of Hamish’s, and as best mates, they’ve shared a passion for music, art, literature and football. Hamish barracks for Melbourne, and Ben barracks for St Kilda, which is kind of like barracking for the same team - called ‘Heartache and Misery’.
Ben loves Latin America and spent a year living in Buenos Aries, a mad, vibrant city where they don’t even call the cleaning product Jif, ‘Jif’. They call it ‘Cif’.
Please welcome an architect, and a philosopher and a best man, Ben Hunter.
Peter Brooks - father of the groom
I remember, when I first met Peter, I said to him, ‘do you mind if I call you Brooksy’ and he said, ‘yes’. I once thought Hamish was the calmest person I’d ever met. Fly fishing, reading, writing, beard growing, Klop, smiling, philosophising. As a pair of panickers Tamsin and I have always found it extremely reassuring to be near him, just breathing in the zen calm. But recently, I met an even calmer person. He’s into fly fishing, flowers, writing, beard shaving, smiling and philosophising, and, for a living, Mr Miagi style, he catches flies with chopsticks (for his fishing) and paints houses (including ours). He’s now a Tasmanian B & B operator who only returns to the mainland to see his kids and win medals at hte World Masters games. Please welcome a calm man with calm genes ... Peter Brooks.
Hamish Brooks - groom
And now, the groom himself.
It was suggested on the invitation that Hamish took a while to get around to the wonderful business of marrying my sister in law, and to some extent this is true. My own view is that he committed much earlier than was officially recognised. Two years ago this month he was invited to join my fantasy football league, the CFL, with his suitably mysteriously badged franchise, The Dark Horse. I explained to Hamish that once you join the CFL, you don’t get to leave ... that with all the awkwardness of having to maintain strong relationships with both my sister in law and The Dark Horse, he had to be sure. Hamish took about 90 seconds to decide, and I took this as a marriage proposal which I very nearly passed on to Char. In the end, I didn’t, which gave Hamish another 19 months to get the wording perfectly right, and choose the right Barwon sunrise for the champagne breakfast.
Please welcome the wonderful, handsome, erudite, elegant man of the hour, Hamish Brooks.
Charlotte Molesworth - bride
Char, you are always stylish, always kind and always vivacious. You have incredible gifts, and have rocketed through your science degree with amazing marks. In fact you’re better at stats than anyone I know, which makes me wonder why we asked Hamish to play dreamteam, and not you.
I’ve now known the bride for nearly half of her life, which is quite scary, and she really is like a sister. Please welcome, the beautiful Charlotte Molesworth.