Speech given by David Wall at the celebration of Deborah Wall’s 60th birthday

December 6, 2010 at 11:28 pm (David Wall, Deborah Ruiz Wall) (, , , , , , )

Chedi Restaurant, Newtown, 22/11/2009

First a little house keeping: recently my brother, Frank passed over (Excuse my rather quaint Victorian expression) and he always had a good name for the selection of a fine wine, so I got in touch with him in heaven and he told me that his small stint in purgatory had refined his taste for a fine vintage. For what it’s worth the wine you have is his selection with a lot of help from Greg our host and restaurateur.

Deb, what can I say about her?  Hard-line and humane, our Prime Minister’s attitude to refugees – hardly – humane, yes!

Deb and I have been married for nearly 37 years and over these years she has had the rather endearing habit of leaving possessions in taxis, buses, trains and other places. She has been robbed from Sydney to Madrid. I often wondered why. What it is, she is so much into the good of people- conversation, communication, reconciliation and the concerns of others that she forgets what she has in terms of bags cameras etc. Deb sees spirituality in the Block and even in me at times! 

I often say that the best decision Deb ever made was to marry me!! Of course, what I really mean is that marriage to Deb was the best thing that ever happened to me. But for this I would have long since gone and be fertilizing a matmat or grave on the banks of the Sepik River. Not a bad fate for some, no doubt. 

I suppose Deb has saved me from myself and for myself. She has been a dedicated wife, mother and in Arthur’s words from “The Minder”, a good little earner over all these years. 

To paraphrase Virgil, and in her work it showed, she is in truth a goddess. 

She always sees the best in others but this is not to say that Deb is some kind of a milksop – dare I quote from Titus Andronicus and in Aaron’s words: Excuse me for comparing Deb with such a violent play but I do like a ‘violent’: The Bill and Taggart, Deb is certainly not Tamora!! The Queen of the Goths But: Upon her wit doth earthy honour wait, And virtue stoops and trembles at her frown. 

I myself have a fear of Deb’s disapproval. When I get the fierce look from her she conjures up in my mind those ancient Filipina warrior heroines and easily leaves me begging forgiveness and mercy!!  The wrath of the Filipina!!

Deborah, your adopted country has given you recognition with an OAM, your friends and family here hail you as a great, loving and self-sacrificing woman. 

The good book tells us that it is not good that a man should live alone and he should cleave unto his wife, well Deb, I’m now doing a bit of cleaving! 

Filipina, Australian, wife, mother, teacher, writer, social worker, journalist, reconciler, scholar, student and virtuous, beautiful woman, all of these things and more, we greet you and thank you. 

In accord with the family’s Filipino and Polish connections I’ll say to you Deb: Sige Deborka !!  And welcome to your Seniors Card.


1 Comment

  1. platelicking said,

    David, you have done it again. Lovely tribute to Deb. 🙂

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