Heartbreaking reason MP fast-tracked his wedding
DAWSON MP George Christensen has married his long-time finance April Asuncion - bringing forward a civil ceremony - so his dying mother Margaret could witness her oldest son finally tie the knot.
In an emotional past few weeks for the 41-year-old, the firebrand MP married the love of his life just before burying his mother yesterday. He will have a church service in the Philippines at a later date.
Looking dapper in a blue suit, and April in an off-the-shoulder gown and veil, the pair was married at a civil ceremony at his parent's property at Te Kowai near Mackay. About 40 family members and friends celebrated with the couple.
Speaking exclusively to The Courier-Mail, Mr Christensen paid tribute to his mother.
"We pulled it on a bit earlier than expected, so that my mother...who passed away after a battle with liver cancer last week, could be with us at our wedding,'' Mr Christensen said.
"It was a blessing to have mum there for it. She was very happy for April and I.
"The day after the wedding, mum asked to be hospitalised, and she didn't return home. She passed away peacefully on Thursday... and the family laid her to rest on Thursday just gone.
"My mother was a lion of a woman. She had disabilities such as epilepsy and cerebral palsy but nothing seemed to phase her.
"At birth, doctors told her parents that she wouldn't live beyond the age of three but she beat that prognosis by 61 years.
"Doctors also later told my mum she wouldn't have children but she beat that diagnosis by three kids!"
In his maiden speech after winning the North Queensland seat in 2010, Mr Christenen revealed he family came to Australia with "nothing but hope".
"Both my parents were disability pensioners during my childhood life and we lived very humbly compared to many others.
"All of that gave me a social justice conscience but tempered with a strong belief that living in abject poverty, or any form of poverty, does not necessarily lead one to poor academic performance, into further poverty or into crime.
"My father and mother strived to escape the welfare trap as much as they could. "He went on to become a taxi driver-the fastest in town, actually, because he also went on to become a professional drag car racer."