I would like to express my love and devotion to my wonderful wife. I’d shout it from the rooftops if I could, but not many would hear it. So I’ll do it here where everyone has access to the World Wide Web. I’ll also #myloveforjane and maybe the twitterverse will see it too.
I would have been 16 years old when I first met Jane. I know exactly where it was; on the back of a Church Bus as part of a Friday night youth group at Craigmore. I can even tell you that we were on the way to Bartholomews Church in Norwood South Australia for a sing along thing. My brother, the Reverand Paul Hunt will likely suggest this was God bringing us together. I’m not so sure. I’m not at all religious but despite that, even if it were true, I’m not sure he would have approved of us snogging on the back seat pretty much the entire way there and back. However, the relationship didn’t last long with Jane and I dating for about a week before we ended the pairing. It wasn’t the right time I guess.
About a year later, we came across each other again in the Craigmore Church on a Sunday afternoon. A day later, resulting from a phone call I received from Janes best friend at the time (Roseanne). I rang Jane and asked her out again over the phone. It was about 7:46 pm on Monday 20 July 1981. The answer was yes. That was the time we became a couple for life.
Fast forward a few years. We decided to marry. It wasn’t a down on one knee, pop the question kind of engagement surprise. We had often discussed it and it was probably assumed after being together for 4 or 5 years that we were always going to marry. We decided to head into the city and ordered a ring from Bell & Brunts, a wonderful handcrafted jewellery maker of Adelaide. We celebrated with a Chicken Hot Pack for dinner.
In early 1985 Jane and I moved out together into a 2 bedroom flat in Salisbury. What an experience that was. We really started to find our place in the world. With great friends with help when we needed it (from the likes of Dave and Mel Belton & Trevor and Julia Dansie) plus our own families, we started to carve our way through life together. I had joined up with SAPOL and Jane was with the State Bank. It was certainly a busy period of our lives.
Our joint love of Softball went on for many years. But whilst we gave our all, eventually we needed each other more, and found that Softball whilst being thoroughly enjoyable, took away time from each other. Jane however achieved some fantastic successes in her roles, particularly as an administrator. She won the “Australian Softball Federation – Administrator of the Year” award and was given this accolade by a female sportsperson she looked up to, being Australian Swimmer Nicole Livingstone. This really topped her career off. However she was also involved in many SA State Teams as a statistician as well as being the South Australia Treasurer and Vice President. I won’t even go into her life at the local softball association. Such is the respect she deserved.
But she has also met many friends who have remained very close to her. None more than Tracy Wolter who Jane left a visit to the United Kingdom to be with her ailing Uncle to return to see Tracy when she was in need of a friend, whilst undergoing surgery. Jane is that kind of friend. Devoted and loyal to the end.
Her family mean everything to her. She was adopted into my family from the start. We were always destined to be together forever. She is trusted and respected by all.
However, in more recent times, Jane has developed a closeness to her English family. This includes those living on the Isle of Wight as well as the mainland UK. She has fostered those relationships and extended a friendship, or kinship that wasn’t really present in times gone past.
Again, as friends come and go, Jane and I have regained a lost friendship that had gone missing. By this, I mean we had lost contact with our friends, for no apparent reason other than distance. It’s one of the things we have managed to forge back by not being involved in softball. Distance and timing is much more accessible now. However I want to say to our softball friends, that you are not forgotten, and like many things, it is something that we need to work on to regain that friendship, or closeness that has been temporarily severed. We still love you guys. But at the moment it is important to re-establish those other things that have been missing for so long.
A close friendship rejoined by the entrepreneurship of the daughters of Dave and Mel Belton, for a surprise birthday in the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Several trips later where we have caught up (in Sydney, New Zealand and in Adelaide). Currently we are away with one of the 3 groups of your young adulthood with Trevor and Julia Dansie with their son, Steven. Another reunion of all 3 with other good friends Mick and Margaret, will continue the reunion.
But that’s not to discount the other strong friends we have made along the way. Eve Allen is a big part of Jane’s life. Having met Eve during a transitional, or developmental stage of Jane’s career, Eve and her daughter Megan have cemented themselves into her life. The initiation of this friendship came at the right time where Jane and I had our only son, Geoffrey. Megan, being a young 15 year old became a trusted member of our family by being Geoff’s babysitter. Eve and Megan hold a special place in Jane’s heart.
There are probably too many people to name, and to single some out would be disingenuous to those who are not named, however people like Sharon Perkins and Kim Sanderson are right at the top of the list in softball. But there are many many more, and I am sure you know who you are. Friends for life no doubt.
This leads me to Geoffrey… Our son, born out of our love when Jane was working at the Hyatt Adelaide. He changed our lives forever, and as we have seen him grow, through initial health issues, to become the person he is today, is a never ending source of pride for Jane. The respect and love she has for him knows no bounds. Yet, to let him go and be free to develop his own life, often away from us is hard, yet necessary. Jane has been a great source of knowledge and support for Geoffrey (as she should be), yet continues to help guide and mentor him when he needs it. Her love for him, as is mine, without bounds. Without him, we are empty.
Jane’s happiness is linked to the people around her. She has found herself in a place where her friends and family are such an important part of her life, yet she continues to grow in all areas of her life. She has friends and family who trust and often rely on her, friends who love her and are as much a strength to her as she to them.
My love for her is the same. Without her my heart would die. And I think the same is true the other way around.
My love for her is eternal, and whilst she is celebrating her 50th birthday abroad with many people who cannot be with her, know that you have all played a strong part in who she is today. I hope that you share this day with her, at least in your thoughts if you cannot be here.
A message from your devoted and loving husband x