9 April, 2012, East Brunswick, Melbourne, Australia
As Natasha's father, I have been asked to say a few words on this occasion about the ceremony we are about to witness.
Firstly I would like to acknowledge the hospitality offered by Jenny and Dexter today and
to thank you all for being present to celebrate and witness this happy event.
When I was first asked by Natasha to make a few remarks today I could not help but
recollect Groucho Marx's famous quip:
"Marriage is the chief cause of divorce...
"Marriage is a wonderful institution but who wants to live in an institution"
However, Natasha and Michael have known each other for 19 years and met at a friend's 21st birthday party in 1992 when Michael was in his heavy metal days. She saw him as an odd but intriguing. Adonis and his musical ways won Natasha's heart. Soon after they started a relationship which has blossomed and deepened after living together in East Briunswick, and Clifton Hill and St. Kilda.
Their happy union has produced two super terrific grandsons - Archie and Charlie - so there is every good reason for them to make the formal commitment of marriage as an expression of their close relationship and commitment to each other.
As fond and foolish parents Anne and I see in Natasha everything we could hope for in a daughter. She is warm and funny and utterly dependable and caring. These qualities are evident in abundance in her role as a mother which she performs in a conscientious and dedicated manner.
It is therefore a wonderful thing that she will continue to share her life with Michael whose musical, gentle and practical ways will provide balance, harmony and strength to their lives and the lives of their family.
As we continue with the wedding ceremony one can almost hear in the background the stirring sound of the bagpipes and ram's horn and shofar which is now blended with an Australian sound because Natasha and Michael each reflect the influences of different cultures. Nevertheless they are independent and strong in their own identities and I can imagine that they will live their lives from such a standpoint and will pass on these values to Archie and Charlie.
Speaking of which Archie and Charlie have brought energy and life to all of us. They are beacons of light and the hope of the future being carefully groomed by me for careers in the finance industries by sustained regular sessions in Snakes and Ladders which they enjoy.
If all fails they can take up a career in Jungian psychoanalysis with a sound grounding in archetypal myths and fairy tales which I am providing for them. They are however stuck on Peter Pan and will have to move on to the more gutsy stories before they beome eligible for this career.
I think that I can speak for all of us present that Natasha and Michael have our good wishes for a happy and fulfilling future with a loving relationship which endures through the vicissitudes of life so that they can reach old age with a sense of a life well lived and a journey sustained by their love for each other.
On that note I would like to quote the words of a famous Englishman whose views about the steadfast nature of true love should always be remembered.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impedments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
0 no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
William Shakespeare (1564-1616)