Necessity, it is said, is the mother of invention; it can also be the mother of unexpected career choices. Shortly after Peter Aust retired from his work as a hotelier in such exotic locations as Africa, India and the Middle East, he found himself at a UK wedding as a guest. The toastmaster who had been booked for the event failed to turn up, so Peter stepped into the breach. Although unplanned and unrehearsed, his performance in the role impressed the other guests so much that he was invited to officiate at another wedding a month later. Peter enjoyed the experience and decided to explore the possibility of doing it regularly. He purchased a uniform and took a course with The London Guild of Toastmasters. Things developed, and what had started out as a hobby soon became a new career.
Since becoming a toastmaster, Peter has encountered all manner of unexpected and complicated situations. Some of them would not be out of place in the script of a sitcom or stage farce.
“Once, a pregnant bride thought she was about to give birth while she was on the way to the reception. The white Rolls-Royce had to drive at great speed to the nearest hospital while I applied delaying tactics with the guests and reassured the groom. It turned out to be a false alarm and the bride eventually returned, allowing the wedding to proceed two hours late.
“The best man at another wedding was so nervous about making his speech that he locked himself in the loo. It took a lot of coaxing by me to get him to unlock the door. After a short coaching session and some gentle reassurance he successfully delivered his speech.
“On one occasion, a bride was so very late arriving that the registrar who was due to marry them had to leave to do another wedding. As everything had been paid for they had to continue with the reception, wedding breakfast, speeches, cutting of the wedding cake, first dance and throwing of the bride’s bouquet – even though the actual ceremony had to be postponed and they weren’t married!”
Peter has long been an admirer of good car registrations. “One of my ambitions was to have a personalised number plate. I recently purchased TM 2548 from Regtransfers. As well as realising that ambition, I believe that the number will assist me in raising my profile and promoting my business. It could be a valuable marketing tool.
“I found the staff at Regtransfers most helpful, friendly and above all, professional and efficient. I will certainly be going back to buy my wife a personalised number plate for her next birthday.”
We hope the number serves Peter well. That said, it seems that he is already doing very well. At events in the UK and abroad, Peter has officiated in the presence of royalty, heads of state and other famous people. He was recently elected President of the Northern Guild of Toastmasters.