It was a quiet, intimate Court wedding. My dad, his bride, us 3 kids, her 2, her mom and 2 brothers. We went for lunch at a hotel to celebrate and toast the bride and groom. It was scrumptious and festive and lively.
4 serious looking men in suits came in and looked around, one turned and left, the others went and sat at a table on the opposite side of the room. The one who had left came back with a very surprising group! Rhodesian PM Ian Smith, his wife and another couple. The men at the table stood and looked around the room until the group was seated. The odd man out then joined the others at their table. Ah! Bodyguards!
How exciting! Celebrities at the wedding. My dad had been an admirer of Ian Smith for years. He was so excited, and said he’d love to meet him. Ding! Ding! The light went on in my head! What a great present I could give my dad if I got Ian Smith to agree to meet my dad!
I jumped up and moved quickly to his table before I thought too much and abandoned the idea. The bodyguards all reached into their jackets and leapt to their feet immediately! Uh oh! I hadn’t considered them! PM Smith rose halfway out of his seat and held up his hand towards their table and smiled at me. “Good afternoon, my dear.”
“Um, good afternoon sir, ma’am. I’m so sorry to interrupt your lunch, but my dad just got married, and we’re celebrating. He would be so honoured if you would sign the ribbon of the brides’ bouquet. He’s such an admirer!” I was so nervous that it just gushed out very quickly, before I lost my nerve. I was too scared to look over at the bodyguards’ table by then!
He was such a sweetheart! He asked my dads’ and the brides’ names and said he’d be delighted to sign. I told him dad’s name and his face lit up, “Binky! The Boxer! I’ve been a fan of his since he was a youngster! I’d love to shake his hand!” He jumped up, excused himself and walked over to our table and pumped dad’s hand enthusiastically. He’d followed my dad’s boxing career for a couple of years before my dad was chosen for the Olympic Team. He had watched dad box and win his Bronze medal too.
I don’t know who was more excited at meeting their man! Dad introduced PM Smith to his bride, and to all of us, and PM Smith took the Bride and Groom over to his table and introduced his wife and guests to them. The bodyguards quickly brought two extra chairs to the PM’s table and the six of them sat and chatted for a while. PM and Mrs Smith signed the ribbon of the bouquet, and toasted the Bride and Groom. Out of respect for their privacy, no photos
were taken. He was in our country on a private, unofficial visit.
The Bridal pair returned to our table flushed and excited. My dad gave me the biggest hug and kiss, and with tears spilling down his cheeks, said, “Thank you so much my girl, that made a beautiful day, perfect! Thank you for being brave and crazy enough to do what you did. It was the best wedding present ever!”
This is dedicated to my beloved Dad, whose birthday it would have been yesterday. I love and miss you so much. My Dad died a scant 3 months later, at the age of 39 and 1 month.