Sunday 11 June 2017

Best Man's speech at the Wedding of Kevin Foster and Hazel Noonan

Ladies and Gentlemen, and I suppose MPs as well,, we all know why we are here today. It's is a very special day. As we all know today is World Gin Appreciation day!

No, no, I am mistaken we are here to celebrate Kevin and Hazel being joined in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony.

I first met Kevin when I was chairman of City of Coventry Conservative Future and he was chairman of the Warwick University branch. Despite that fact that he was attending Coventry’s second university we became firm friends and served together on Coventry City Council for a number of years including the opportunity to be the cabinet together and I served as Kevin’s Chief Whip when he was Leader and deputy leader.

Kevin was my best man when I got married and it is an honour to return the favour. Although any chance of a stag do was wrecked by a certain national event that happened a couple of days ago.

It is lucky that the General Election was not next week otherwise Kevin would have had a leafleting and canvassing session rather than a reception!

I’m sure we are all delighted Kevin was re-elected to parliament with a hugely increased majority, which is wholly down to the fact he is such a hard working representative.

Although I met Kevin when he was at university in Coventry he, like me, was a first generation immigrant to Coventry and originally came from Plymouth.

As he always remained a Devonian in his heart it is no surprise that his second love, politics, brought him back here to be the MP.

I say his second love of course, because his first love is Hazel whom he married today. Even if he didn’t realise that for a while!

I first met Hazel on a hit squad delivering leaflets. (it is amazing how many different people you meet over leaflets as a political activist) That year, 1999, was also the year we both first stood for the council, although we both had to wait another year to actually contest a seat successfully.

When Hazel took the first Cheylesmore seat off the Labour party she was keen to take the other two as well so turned to Kevin to do so. It’s wonderful that years later these two former ward colleagues have decided to become life colleagues. That’s what an interest in politics does for you. Certainly we all wish them a landslide of happyness!

I’d like to thank Fr John and the team at St Mathias for such a good service today. St Matthias was the Apostle chosen by lot to replace Judas. We are all glad there were no lots needed last Thursday! I believe Kevin is involved with parish, so well done for managing that. When I first met Kevin he told me on a Sunday morning he religiously observed his lie in.

If you believe what you see in Disney movies then marriage is all about bluebirds dropping showers of hearts on you. In real life marriage is not like. There will always be disagreements. Indeed in the Chronicles of Narnia, the great theologian and philosopher CS Lewis wrote “They had many quarrels, but they always made up again: so that years later, when they were grown up they were so used to quarreling and making up again that they got married so as to go on doing it more conveniently.”

Marriages work when two people are so atuned to other, and their souls are so connected that the bumps in the road are just that an annoyance that is easily overcome rather than something that throws you totally off course. Anyone who looks at Kevin and Hazel can see that this is the case with them and I wish them many happy years together.

Ladies and Gentlemen: The Bride and Groom.

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