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...