I thought I might just blog this out in a couple of parts – too much too read in one go. Damien reckons I'm a ‘blog-a-holic’. ‘Sms-a-holics’ shouldn’t talk! The weekend was all about the Australian Martial Arts Hall of Fame (AMAHOF) which was held in Melbourne and I must admit it was a pleasurable experience, and quite prestigious to receive 'Martial Artist of the Year'. I was also presented with a similar award from the World Karate Union which was held last week in Pennsylvania, USA.
The night before, at registration, I put my hand up to just to make sure no speech was required at the presentation because there was no mention of it. The Chairman jumped up and thanked me for reminding him because he forgot to tell us about making our speeches. I had to slip out through the back door to avoid an angry mob. Later, Richard and Judy came by and picked me, and my wife, up (daughter included) from the hotel and went to a very nice restaurant with a bird’s eye view of the trams. That was a very enjoyable 3 hours. My son, Jonathan, was not there with us, he flew in the next day.
The awards night went very well with Richard and Judy being invited as special guests. As I watched every inductee go up and do their speech I was starting to get a little worried about what I was going to say. I had Richard stirring me what I had written down in my notes for what I was going to say. My awards were presented by none other, than Richard Norton himself. When it was time to make that speech I just basically threw down my notes and started uttering words out. To my surprise, it went quite well because I had people congratulating me all night, and the rest of the weekend because they said it was natural and entertaining! There was one particular blunder (quite embarassing), I forgot Barry Johnston’s surname as I was thanking him for the person nominating me. However, I got a few laughs out of it because they thought it was part of my gig. In another part of the speech I mentioned what had happened to me, the previous evening, when I went to register and did not see any familiar face in the room. One guy came up to me and introduced himself and I did the same. He asked me where I was from, and I told him, 'Sydney'. He then asked which crane company I was from. I stopped and thought 'what makes him think I work with cranes'. I then looked at a display banner which said, ANNUAL VICTORIAN CRANE ASSOCIATION MEETING.
Richard read a beautiful email, on behalf of Hanshi Tino Ceberano, who could not be there on the night. I was also taken by surprise when Richard stepped up on stage again and said a few wonderful words about me which was well appreciated by me and my family. He started off saying, "I am here to talk about George Adams, what can I say about him? Not much!" and took a couple of steps off the stage leaving the audience in laughter (which was well needed that night). I bet he couldn't wait to get that one in. He must've been planning it for weeks!
Better stop here, I don’t want anybody to overdose from my blog. Leave part 2 for another day.