Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is James, I am Tane’s dad.
I have asked to be allowed to speak: to mark this happy occasion with a few appropriate words, to which Tane has graciously granted me his permission.
First of all, I wish to thank you all for coming, to share and celebrate the occasion, but especially those who have travelled the farthest. I see a few Wellington friends here: (name them). Welcome to you. Welcome to Tane’s Aunty Naomi, who travelled all the way from Dunedin. Where have other people come from?
I wish to express my immense joy and pride in my son, especially at this time. When they were growing up, my 3 children always knew these 3 things:
- We loved them all equally; there are no favourites.
- If two of them argued unreasonably, then the 3rd one won the treat. This was usually Hamish.
- I have always been proud of each one of them.
Tane was born on Star Wars day: May 4th, 1997. I infected him with the love of science fiction early, and we’ve enjoyed discussing many shows of that genre.
His names means “Sunday Man”. He was born on a Sunday, and was in church the following Sunday. I’m pleased to report, he has never chosen to leave since.
Tane, in Maori means “man”, kind of like “Adam”, because he was our first little man.
Tane lived 6 months in Africa from June to December 1997. He left NZ as a 7 week old new-born and returned a 7 month old rug rat.
Tane was baptised July 4th, 2005, when he was 8 years old, at his original home church of Wellington Elim. I baptised him, because we were home-schooling him at that time, and we were his Bible teachers. A funny thing happened when I dunked him: his bottom came up. I froze, because I didn’t know what to do next (“he’s not completely immersed!”). Somebody had to remind me to let him up. No harm done.
We moved into Manurewa on May 18th, 2013, when Tane was 16.
He met Jess at a Church Youth Group in 2014. They have been inseparable ever since. When Tane went with Jess to her second school ball in 2015, is when I knew this was getting serious.
I couldn’t be happier for Tane in his choice of girl. Jess has won me over, despite my reservations about their youth, for many reasons, these are just a few:
- She’s a most excellent cos-player. For those not initiated into geeky things, this means she makes and wears her own costumes to science fiction conventions and such. For 2 years running, Tane & Jess have won our church costume talent show as: Tarzan & Jane one year, and Mary Poppins and Bert the next.
- She’s beautiful. ‘Nuff said
- I doubt she knows this, but I was very impressed by something I overheard said one particular day. In our own wedding vows, Fiona and I promised mutual love and respect, but individually, I promised to support her and Fiona promised to follow me. This may be quaint now, but it’s a vow we’ve always kept. What I overheard was, while Tane was trying to sort out his tertiary study options, moving back to Wellington was a possibility, to which Jess’s response was a matter-of-fact, to paraphrase a certain Bible verse, “where you go, I will go. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” Jess, you won my heart then. John and Donna, I congratulate you on raising a wonderful daughter.
Tane proposed to Jess while on holiday in Paris on 17 August 2016, which brings us up to date.
As of yet, there is no wedding date to announce, because Tane has just learned he has been accepted into Unitech’s Drama Programme. This potentially means 3 years of tertiary study. Realistically, I would expect a wedding before then, so watch this space.
In conclusion, an engagement is a fun, but also serious occasion. It is a binding promise, of the further commitment to come. It is an opportunity for them to say to us, “This is our intent” and for us to say to them, “we will support you”.
To that end, will you please be upstanding, charge your glasses, and repeat after me: “we will support you.”