Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dad 20/4/31 - 31/10/01 - this is the more promised...

Today is my father's birthday. He would have been 79.

Dad, although not perfect (as are we all), was the only father I had. I loved him, perhaps I didn't show it enough.

Dad had many interests. Flying, aircraft, gliders, photography, boats, caving. There were so many things he did.

He was a wood lathe operator by trade, but during his life he had many jobs. He worked for AWA, Kriesler TV, had his own building company until his partner robbed him blind and Dad (and Mum) were left with all the bills because the partner owned nothing, and even took the company ute! He built boats and worked for a company called MJ Bain fibreglassing boats and he became involved in a boat race in Macksville a few years when he was doing this job, I think it was a water skiing race - Bridge to Bridge? Bridge to Ocean? Dad was somehow involved with slot cars, too. Later he worked for Sebel Furniture, in R&D. He was into the injection moulding of the furniture - the Sebel Integra chair was one he worked on.

Dad (and the family) were recreational cavers, most of my immediate family were members of the Sydney Speleological Society. Dad was a member of The Explorers' Club. The photo here is of Dad after he received his gong from the NSW Governor in the early 90s. He was so proud.

Dad had his demons. He drank, was an alcoholic. It was only after his death I learnt that he had been stalked by the black dog, I suppose this is why he drank... but it didn't work, because the dog was always there. Eventually he had alcohol psychosis and paranoia. I knew my Dad when we were young. He taught me so much. As we got older he drank more, and I had less time for him and his drunken silliness.

Dad was a good guy, always taking people on face value, helping people if he could. He trusted people, sometimes to his detriment. Unfortunately he was a soft target for people who used him, particuarly his business partner who left Dad's business owing approximately $25k (that I knew of), in about 1977. The debtors came after my father because the partner owned nothing. Mum and Dad had cars, a house, and good paying, regular jobs (Mum was a school teacher). Dad had the builders' licence. Dad's accountant warned him about 18 months before the proverbial hit the fan. Mum took out a third mortgage to pay back the business' debt.

I was looking for the eulogy I wrote for Dad, but I've lost it again. I did find some letters.... I'm thinking there might be enough there to do something interesting with. He had a very interesting life, and perhaps I can tell a bit of that story?

Here's some pix of my Dad...
Photobucket

14 comments:

kc said...

You look like him, don't you?

From other things you've posted, I can understand why you miss him.

kae said...

Yes, I do look like him. And my brother does, too.

Minicapt said...

I don't know; I'm pretty sure your hair is longer, and rather less beard ...

Cheers

prairiecat55kc said...

With you today in spirit, m'Friend.

cav said...

Dads, if only we had got to know them better.....

kae said...

Thanks, Priarie Cat.

Cav
Yes, yes, yes! And our grandparents, too.
I do know one thing for certain. My Dad loved me very much, I was the first born and we bonded. I have no doubt that my Dad loved me.
I just hope that the times I told him I love him, particularly in the few weeks before he died - he asked me why I was there, I said that I was there to tell him I loved him, and that there was no point saying it after he'd died. I have no doubt at all that he loved me, I just hope he knew that despite all, I loved him very much.

1735099 said...

Father/daughter relationships are often difficult. I have two so I know from experience.
Sounds like your connection with your dad was strong. I reckon you should write about it. Whether you share it or not doesn't matter, but you write well, so people would probably enjoy reading your story.

kae said...

Thanks 17
I've found some letters from Dad to his parents, and letters from Mum to Dad while he worked in the NT during the dock strike in Sydney (I think). The letter from Dad to his Mum and Dad are interesting... they were written in about 1954 or 5, Mum and Dad married in 1956, and would have met in about 1951, I know that because Mum met him when she was 16 I think and "set her hat" for him.
I'll get my a into g, when I catch up with the housework and yardwork, and see what I can glean.

I could write a book to rival O's, "My Father's Letters".

1735099 said...

I recently dug up my Dad's RAAF records on-line from the AWM. He had an operation on his eyes when he enlisted and couldn't see well enough to write, so my mother wrote some letters on his behalf to his unit which ended up on file. They make amazing reading because of the level of formality used back then (1943) and my mother's beautiful copperplate handwriting.

Mr. Bingley said...

gosh, I'm sorry kae. it seems as we age all we have time for are regrets; i sure know i'm building up a store of them.

Mehaul said...

That's lovely Kae. I think you touched a nerve for a lot of people with that candid look back over your shoulder.

Merilyn said...

That was well said kae. Feel sure that even if your Dad suffered with the "black dog" he would never have stopped loving you, he just found it harder to say so.
By the way you have the same hair colour as my Nana.

wayne Job Broadford Victoria said...

Thank you Kae for the small insight into father, daughter relationships. I am totally deferent to my daughter she assumed the role of head of the house at age fifteen. I fell in a heap when wife took of with our wealth for greener pastures. She recently had her fortieth , happily married with children.
Studying in later life because of lost youth she is now a nurse. In her spare time she handles all the paper work, tax's ect for my company. She runs her own company, small but national. Has a fleet of miniature horses that she breeds and trains. My daughter is miracle,she is my hero. The photo of you with your dad, smoke in one hand, drink in the other, with the magnificent red tresses, is a pearler.

kae said...

Thanks all.
Wayne
The drink and cigarette photo was at my 21st.