17 Nov 2008
Following is the speech that my father-in-law, Henk de Deugd, gave at the reception:
Opportunity & Privilege
“I count this opportunity to talk to this fine gathering of family and friends an honor and privilege. Let me commence by saying how proud I am of both of my sons, Andrew and Peter.
Andrew lives in Moree, NSW and grows the famous Australian hard prime wheat and in addition operates an agricultural contracting business. Peter operates a wood milling and wood product manufacturing business in a little place called Coghills Creek north of Ballarat in Victoria. Both Andrew and Pete are entrepreneurs, talented business men, and they both love freedom and private enterprise. They are very committed to their respective callings, they are enthusiastic, and possess thatDutch determination and tenacity.
Furthermore, they understand the importance of obedience to God’s Law-Word, and that blessings flow from that obedience. Today is a real special occasion for the de Deugd and Smith families because today marks the beginning of a whole lot of new relationships, friendships, and the formation of a much larger extended family.
A Little About Sue & I
Many of you know a lot about Pete already. I know that, because of all the emails that have been received in response to the engagement story in Genevieve’s newsletter. Recently, someone asked Sue what her secret was in training boys to grow up to be like Pete and Andrew. I won’t elaborate on what Sue said, but let me tell you a little about us, the people who have shaped the lives of both Andrew and Pete.
First, let me tell you that the shaping process started for me by marrying a Christian girl, one specially chosen and created to be my helper. Sue is Godly, gracious, gentle and loving and unswerving in her support of me as head of the family, and she is everything that I am not! Second, we provided a challenging environment for our boys, one in which their masculinity could develop. This included having old cars, go-carts, welding equipment, a pulling-thingsapart place, water rafts and going camping, hay carting through the night, hunting, and so on.
Third, we have encouraged family business which involves dad, mum and the children. Family business is a real good way to build character, practice innovation and develop entrepreneurship.
And fourth, we have built a home that encourages family worship, and around the meal table debates which tackle the tough, “Why?” questions. This, briefly, is the way we have grown together as a family.
Let me now focus on Pete a little more, and tell you some things not commonly know. Everyone thinks Pete is a cabinet maker, a wood worker, a maker of fine furniture. This is true, but not altogether accurate. Pete is an inventor and entrepreneur. He sees opportunities everywhere. He is also a practical scientist and engineer. I think of him as a Manufacturing Process Engineer. Often we would sit at the kitchen table for morning or afternoon tea and out would come the blunt pencil, the old envelope and he would say, “I think I can shave about 30 seconds off the process by …. and this will make the product more competitive in the marketplace.” If after the conversation we agreed, then there would be a flurry of activity, and I would say to Sue late that night, “Where is Pete?” “Oh,” she would say, “He is in the shed making a new machine-you know the one that is going to take another 30 seconds off the process!”
In this context, Pete’s business continues to grow and that mainly by word of mouth. He is building a solid reputation for his manufacturing skill. Furthermore, Pete has clearly established his calling, and it is this calling that Genevieve has identified with, and really appreciates. She has seen the real opportunity in making this a family business. Her dad and others will tell more about Genevieve and how this day has come about.
Now what do Sue and I think about Genevieve? Well, Genevieve, you are beautiful, attractive, chaste, modest and now married to a very special man. Not only that, you are capable, intelligent, virtuous, and your gifts, abilities, and character superbly compliment Pete’s entrepreneurial and innovative talents. I am excited to know, that you will stand by Pete, and strengthen his calling by ably complementing him in the many areas of life. I am even more excited to know that you appreciate and desire to help Pete build his family business, and be a friend to all his friends and family.
I am also pleased that you and Pete have a multigenerational focus, and want to establish a
sure foundation for your children’s, children.
About the Future
Over the last six months or so, Pete shared with me some of the conversation he has had with Genevieve about the future. Recently, I asked Pete, “How does Genevieve picture married life to be like?” He replied, somewhat starry-eyed, “She says I am really wonderful, so much so that she looks forward to a whole lot of little Petes running around. And what did you tell her I asked? He immediately replied, “Genevieve is so wonderful that I am looking forward to seeing a lot of little Genevieve running around.” Well, as I see it, both families will need more process engineers, designers, farmers, secretaries, lawyers, environmental engineers, plumbers, etc, so we look to God for His blessing in this regard.
Now, Genevieve I know you are a visionary and multigenerational thinker and this is certainly an advantage because it makes the present hardships easier to manage. In thinking long and hard about this multigenerational perspective, I thought to myself, how can I encourage you both?
Well, I snuck into the innovator’s bedroom looking for a clue for an answer to my question. Surprise, surprise, on the wall that doesn’t have exotic timbers stored against it, I noted a shelf with some interesting things on it that Pete has gathered over the years. These things obviously mean a lot to him. On this shelf is a very old decorative timber trinket box, a special old red wine glass, a ship’s captain’s wheel with a bell mounted in the centre of it, and…
Next to that ship’s wheel was something very special-something very durable. Genevieve, I quietly took this from that top shelf so that I would have the priviledge of giving it to you.
This, Genevieve, is a multigenerational gift for your little Petes. These are about 30 years old. They would have been secondhand when we got them and have been on some special little feet. This is the end of my speech but today is the beginning of the establishment of a new extended trustee family. Welcome Genevieve. We will love you like our own daughter!
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”
For the Greater Glory of God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
Genevieve de Deugd