Toast, to Luke and Emily

On Saturday Vivian and I went to Luke and Emily's wedding at St. Matthias church in Paddington, whom should now be called Mr. and Mrs. Deller. It was a windy day, and the service started at a late 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Grimmo gave the talk from Philippians 2, challenging Luke and Emily to 'be like God' in their marriage by putting the others first, but also reminded them to always bring God into everything they do. It was actually quite an evangelistic talk to a large crowd of around 200 people, which many of them have not been challenged with the gospel. Reception was a bit later on Saturday night at Vaucluse, where I sat with some of my university friends. The evening closed at around 10:30pm, after we sent Luke and Emily off...

Well. Another wedding? An impressive and well-prepared wedding indeed - but is it just another couple getting married? Not so...

Luke has been one of my best friends (or, my best friend) going through university together. We have been through numerous interesting computing projects together, from Comp 1B's C++/Xt Intrinsic based graph, to COD's "super project" of R4600 compatible CPU, to AOS's "MS DOS shell" on top of L4 based microkernel OS (that was fun when we demonstrated that to Gernot as he tried out some of the DOS commands). That was the good old days...

I actually got to know Luke for exactly 10 years ago this month. Yes - 10 years of friendship that is, and I truly thank him for that. I first met him at Canberra when we both participated in the National Mathematics Summer School together back in 1994. He was one of the first few Sydney sider that I got to know, and for some reason he was wearing glasses back then. Here is a photo as the proof.

NMSS with Luke

That was a photo taken near the Telstra Tower in Canberra in January 1994 I believe. The name of the two guys at left have already escaped my memory (not something unusual by the way), except that the shorter Asian guy was from Perth I think. I was the one wearing blue checker shirt, and then they were Joseph, Luke, Regent and John standing next to me. Beside meeting Luke for the first time, this NMSS 10 years ago was a big thing that has greatly influenced me that I'll blog about later - but there he was - Luke Deller with glasses in 1994.

I still remembered the first time I met Luke again one year later when I came to Sydney to start university. In the engineering orientation event I saw this guy that seems familiar. I think I did recall his name correctly (which is something odd for me as I don't usually recall people's name). He was one of few NMSS people I know that was also in the same course as me. Of course, the other person is Jenny whom for some reason also chose to pursuit computer engineering. And that's where all the stories have begun.

Hanging out with Luke has been fun as he was one of few on that year that could really code. Moreover, Jenny, Luke and I also went to engineering's faculty group together for the first two years, where Gavin Weakley was our MTS worker (doing a Google search reveals that Gavin is still in Denmark - not sure how's his ministry going). So at uni Luke was not just my coding partner, but also a supportive Christian friend. It has been encouraging, and at the same time spurring me to think in the same direction as well, to see the faithfulness of Luke and how much he was involved in all different kinds of ministry opportunities.

And one big belated thanks goes to Luke for what he has given me for my wedding. On my shelf there is a set of Tyndale's New Testament Commentaries that have helped me numerous times when I prepared for Bible studies. That was Luke's wedding gift for Vivian and I on our wedding day nearly 4 years ago, and behind the front cover of each book he scribed a verse from that part of the Bible that is especially challenging and encouraging. Out of all the gifts that I have ever received, this has been by far the best. Thank you for that.

I don't just have the privilege to study with him, I also have been working with him for the past 3 and half years. We were in Vision first, and then moved to Xplan together, where Luke and I architected the first few releases of Centrepiece. Even though sometimes we have different design philosophy, but it has been great fun and rewarding working with Luke. Well, Xplan was fun when we first started and small. We were so laid back next to the Maroubra beach, where Luke sometimes insisted to go to that dodgy bakery for lunch on some days. We were playing Quake III Arena on our notebooks in Singapore Airport over the infrared network, and we were hacking away trying to get things to work in the hotel room few hours before the meeting... That's the good old time, with Luke at Xplan...

So, how would I describe Luke? A faithful Christian brother. An elite coder. Someone always has smile on his face. Someone who is willing to ask how you are going. Someone who is really optimistic (actually Luke's mum commented in the wedding that Luke is not only optimistic, but he also believe in miracles). He is someone who might not be that organised (which sometimes drives me crazy doing assignment with him). He has got his own style of humour. Someone you can really be a friend with...

A few years ago Vivian and I were a bit worried for Luke. With his forward-planning and organisation skill, we were not sure whether he would find a girlfriend. But now it seems there is no need for such worry - Luke has already found one that can support him and comply him. Emily is the perfect fit for Luke.

Thanks for being such a great friend of mine for that many years, and all the best.