The speech delivered on behalf of my family at the Diamond Wedding Anniversary of our parents on 29th June 2006. The celebration was held at The Farmer’s Daughter Restaurant in Bassaleg, near Newport.
The Time is Now
If you are ever going to love me,
Love me now, while I can know
The sweet and tender feelings
Which from true affection flow.
Love me now
While I am living.
Do not wait until I’m gone
And then have it chiselled in marble,
Sweet words on ice-cold stone.
If you have tender thoughts of me,
Please tell me now.
So let’s do that now!!
It’s hard to put into words the feelings of our hearts today. 60 years of marriage is a remarkable achievement and we are here to honour you for it tonight. Dad and mum , we as a family, want to thank you for being the most remarkable parents. The fact that your love has, day after day continued to grow and that we your family are not just family but best friends and are probably closer now than we have ever been, speaks volumes about the example that you have set for us to follow.
Sir Isaac Newton is attributed with a famous quote. You will see it on the side of a one pound coin…Standing on the shoulders of giants…. It appeared first in a letter written by him to a fellow scientist Robert Hooke on 5th February 1676, where he very modestly claimed that his success had been largely built on the previous hard work and achievements of others:
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”.
Tonight, John, Joy and I feel like Sir Isaac Newton as we are doing just that and now as our children, your grandchildren, begin to have families of their own, we see again the importance of the solid foundations your love has given us and impact that your love has had upon all our lives. When you leave this earthly scene, be assured that the influence of the love you share with each other will continue to be felt in the lives of our children and our children’s children and their children in turn.
Growing up in your care has been the most wonderful experience for us. Life in our home in Llanishen was idyllic. We had a mum who devoted herself to looking after us and our home, a dad who worked so hard for his family. A man who cycled home on his bike, with handlebars laden with off-cuts of wood for the fire. As very young children we would await his call of ….’Dad’s home’… before running to meet the wonderful man who was our father and be cuddled by his rough carpenter’s hands! We had many happy days of excitement, like the day dad bought his first motorbike – a B.S.A. Bantam, registration number FBO 717, or our first car a little green ‘Sit up and beg’ Ford Anglia, MTX 292, which couldn’t get up Caerphilly mountain! We had many friends, a safe street in which to play, the woods and fields nearby and at the end of the day, we came back to the security of a home filled with love and care and a dad and mum who so obviously loved each other and loved us with a passion.
We realise now that times were often tough for you – but we never knew – you protected us from all that. We always had holidays, sometimes with very little to live on for the whole family, but we never missed a year from Broadhaven to Blue Anchor from Watchet to West Wales, you gave us so many happy memories and produced children and grandchildren who have travelled the world inspired by you. As we turn back the pages of our lives, wherever we look, we see the same things that you gave us as our parents…
- Unselfish love
- A belief in us and
- A willingness to support us in whatever we tried to do!
We also look back with affection at our extended family – our church family. Many from the church are here tonight to share this special celebration. Thank you all for the special part you have had to play in the lives of my dad and mum and in our lives too. Those early pioneering days were very special and many happy friendships were made, Gordon Trew, The Throwers, Aubrey and Lilian Roberts, Bill and Ruby Dobbs, Charles and Eileen Hallet, Jim and Ruby Orr, Billy and Gladys Williams and Shaun Ryan… Our home was constantly open to the young people of the church and many nights were spent singing and having fun. But for one young man in particular our home became his home. We ‘adopted’ a young man named Paul Pace. He was a young lad from a broken home on the other Llanishen estate. He became like a son to you and a brother to us.
So as the formal part of the evening begins to draw to a close, I look around and see so many of you who have loved and supported dad and mum through these sixty years… brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces and many friends – and I am sure I speak on behalf of you all when I say, a huge thank you to you dad and mum for all you have done and indeed all you have yet to do for us all. As your children we want to say, from the bottom of our hearts, a huge thank you for your inspirational love. When I conduct a marriage ceremony ~ and it was probably said at your wedding back in 1946 ~ I always say
Marriage is a beautiful picture of the relationship between Christ and His church.
I always tell the happy couple what this means in reality is that when we model our marriage on Christ’s love, that the bride needs to love her new husband enough to live completely for him and the groom needs to love his wife enough to die for her just as Christ died for the church.
Dad and mum, you are the best examples of that love we have ever seen! We love you so much and pray that you may you have many more years to enjoy your special love together.
Congratulations on your special day.
May God richly bless you both.