The Cox Plate, Kevin B. Wilson and love: my wedding speech


We were married on Saturday, October 26, 2002. How can this have been fourteen years ago? Here’s a transcript of my wedding speech.

When we decided to get married a little over a year ago I thought this will be a really big day, and I need to seek lots of advice on how to make it work well. You need undertake lots of decisions to make it work well.

So, who can I talk to? Who can help me out here? So, I decided to go to my old home town, Kapunda. Anyone here from Kapunda? (various members interjecting) I talked to a few people from Kapunda and as you can plainly tell, they were absolutely useless to me. They had nothing sensible to offer whatsoever.

So, then I thought my second home is probably the West Coast so I thought I’d talk to a few people about the big day, the really important day. And they were even less use than the Kapunda people.

It hit me like a flash one afternoon. Who’s the most important person who can give me some advice? So, I wandered up to the Barossa, to the Valley one afternoon and sat down with Dad.

We were sitting around the kitchen table having a Sparkling Ale. One of two, you’re only allowed two per session in the Randall house. Each carton’s got to last at least twelve drinking sessions. So, we’re sitting around the kitchen table talking about the big day and I’m seeking advice. And Dad’s lovingly grasping his frosty ale, and I said, “Dad, what do you reckon? Help me out with this big day. What do you suggest on this day of days?”

And Dad said, “I know it means a lot to you. It’s a crucial day, we want you to be happy. My advice is to wack all your money on Sunline in the Cox Plate.”

Welcome to our wedding.

I’d like to thank our ushers Jill and Barry, and Robyn and Mark for their terrific work earlier.

I’d also like to thank our guitarists who entertained you earlier, Neil and Phil, very good friends from Port Pirie, who played some beautiful songs by people we really like such as U2 and Jeff Buckley. I know also that they rehearsed that terrific wedding classic, “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix. It’s a great song, I’ll just remind you of some of the key lyrics, it goes

Hey Joe, where you goin’ with that gun of yours?
I’m goin’ down to shoot my old lady
You know I caught her messin’ ’round with another man

It’s a touching wedding song. Thank you very much.

Thanks also to our photographer Brett, and his assistant Trish for their wonderful work. They’re from Blue Razoo. That’s Blue Razoo, if you need somebody. We had a terrific, fun morning down the beach with Roxy. (Robyn interjecting- Roxy Randall!) He’s a great photographer. In the photos, I’ll be blonde and built like Koutoufides (former Carlton footballer, Adonis-like).

Thanks to our videographers, Richard, Mark and Matt for capturing much of the afternoon. Well done.

Thanks to my sister Jill for your reading of that poem which means a lot to us. Superb.

Thanks to the jockey and connections of Celestia which won Race 10 last week when we were at Victoria Park. That was the Get Out Of Jail Stakes and we certainly needed that.

Thanks to guests who’ve travelled. From Queensland, Grandma and Grandpa, Chris, Stephen and Eleni. Thanks for making the effort.

Thanks also to Greg Mennie who’s travelled all the way from the Eastern Suburbs today, a big effort. Crossed the border there at West Terrace, no vaccinations, no visa. It’s pretty brave, he’s good like that. Thanks, Puggy.

Thanks also to all of you for coming. People from Kapunda, Gawler, Queensland, Pirie, Kimba, Wudinna and Adelaide. Thanks for sharing you lives with us. We’ve enjoyed living in the communities that we have. We can really recommend the three pillars of country living to you.

1.    Hotel

2.    Sport, and

3.    Hotel after sport.

To all of our friends who are shortly to be married or who are to have a baby: good luck from all of us here. There’s quite a few of you. Congratulations. (Robyn interjecting,” Yeah, Kerry!)

Thanks to our parents. To Lois and Bob, Joan and Darryll, for your extraordinary love and guidance and support not only today, but throughout our lives. Thank you.

To Jill and Barry; Richard, Mark, Robyn and Dylan: thanks for your contributions and for making our lives as fabulous as they are.

Lastly, to Kerry-ann. For the rich catalogue of memories you’ve given me already: Sunday beach walks with Roxy; The sunset in Venice; Hot chocolate over games of backgammon. Thank you for that.

Well done for your astonishing work in preparing for today. It’s been beyond any expectation I could’ve had, and as we’re probably all guessing, it’s all due to you. Thank you.

You look as beautiful as you truly are. (various members interjecting; especially Robyn, “What do you want?”)

Just a few of the things I do love about my wife include: your absolutely unconditional generosity with people, the countless ways in which you’ve taught me about the world and myself, your vibrant cultural tastes- this is a girl who can sing all of “Joelene” by Dolly Parton, and a terrifying amount of the back catalogue of Kevin B. Wilson, which we’ll be doing at 5.55 so that’ll get you out the door in a big hurry.

In closing, if I know what love is, it’s because of you.

So, please enjoy the reception and thanks for coming.





The Wedding Photo

beach wedding

In England on our first, second and third wedding anniversaries I would especially think of this photograph. It didn’t make the trip with us, and sat in a dusty box back home. Amongst other emotions, I felt homesick because the setting, people and home it evoked, were half a world away.

In St Albans I told friends about this photo, describing it as well as I could, but only receiving vague, empty nods in return. Reflecting on the many months that this photo and I were apart, I can see now, it was the relic, the symbol I most missed.

It is early morning when this picture was taken and the beach is fresh and gorgeous. The sky is innermost in this. Distinctly Australian; it is a soaring blue cathedral swept by wisps of cirrus. It is our private Sistine Chapel. These clouds release upward, their white curls; fragile, yet vast and unhurried.

Unlike those of Europe or other teeming and tired places, these kindly vapors are friendly, and promising. And they are painted across a blue; a majestic, profound blue, washing over us with colours not seen in the Mediterranean in centuries. How could we have abandoned this sky for England‘s leaden, crushing ceiling?

I’m standing opposite you on the beach, dried seaweed lying around me. The wedding suit black contrasts with our surroundings on this vivid October morning. Leaning forward, I’m poised, hands ready. My focus is entire, there’s nothing else in my world.

And now, of course, to you.

You are the picture within a picture. Beyond a Venetian sunset, the awesome splendor of Santorini, the bursting English spring; this is the most beautiful image. Matching the white drifts of cloud in its elegance, your wedding dress is becalmed by the camera, yet somehow moving like a breeze.

Your leg, extended jauntily, is parallel with the gulf’s horizon as the football floats skywards, set in motion by your deft kick. What does this suggest? Your passion for fun and readiness for life, impulsiveness and a boldness of spirit that bewitched me years ago, and bewitches me still.

Over a decade later, this photo remains a joyful song, an endless bottle of the finest wine, and a thrilling, rich story.


Enduring thanks to our wedding photographers, and dear friends Brett and Trish at http://www.bluerazoo.com/