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Happy Father's Day, Dad!
Thinking about Dad at special time
By JEFF LILLY
A father's love: Reflect on all the millions of quiet little things he did while you were growing up that you may have taken for granted.
''A father is someone who carries
pictures in his wallet where his
money used to be.''
Well, that definition is not too far
from the truth. I still hear my
youngest daughter asking, ''Do you
happen to have any coinage on
My own dear departed dad would
not let me go short when I needed
a bob or two and his own father was
the same for him.
''I must first of all thank you for
the cheque for £11-4-0, which I
received today. I don't know what it
was from, but I suppose it was from
the remainder of the seed,'' my
father says in a letter sent from
Yorkshire, in 1948, to his father who
farmed here in Waipara.
Despite the stringencies of post-
war Britain, with rationing and
having to eat horse and whale meat,
my 20-year-old father still managed
a flutter at the races. I guess my
daughter, at the same age, may
be excused an occasional little
Father's Day, for us falling on
September 1, is a celebration
honouring fathers and celebrating
fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the
influence of fathers in society. Many
countries celebrate it on the third
Sunday of June, but it is also
celebrated widely on other days.
Father's Day was created to
complement Mother's Day, and
originated in Spokane, Washington,
at the YMCA, in 1910, by Sonora
Smart Dodd. Her father, the Civil War
veteran William Jackson Smart, was
a single parent who raised his six
children there. After hearing a
sermon about Mother's Day in 1909,
she told her pastor that fathers
should have a similar holiday
She did not have much success
initially, but in the 1930s, Dodd
returned to Spokane and started
promoting the celebration again,
raising awareness at a national level.
She had the help of those trade
groups that would benefit most
from the holiday, for example, the
manufacturers of ties, menswear and
Americans resisted the holiday for
a few decades, perceiving it as just
an attempt by merchants to
replicate the commercial success of
Mother's Day, and newspapers
frequently featured cynical and
sarcastic comment. However, the
concept grew, and by the mid-
1980s, Father's Day had pretty much
become a second Christmas for
men's gift-oriented industries.
Mind you, despite its popularity,
the hype still trails that of Mother's
Day. I am reminded of one small
boy's definition: ''It's just like
Mother's Day, only you don't spend
so much''. As American comedian
Bill Cosby said: ''Fatherhood is
pretending the present you love
most is soap-on-a-rope''.
A story is told of a father of five
children who came home with a toy.
He summoned his children and
asked which of them should be
given the present.
''Who is the most obedient
''Who never talks back to Mum
and does everything that Mum says
There were a few seconds of
silence, and then all of the children
called out, ''You play with it Daddy!''
Well, take a little time on Father's
Day to show your Dad how much
you appreciate him, and reflect on
all the millions of quiet little things
he did while you were growing up
that you may have taken for granted
-- playing games, reading stories,
ensuring the health and safety of his
family, comforting you when things
went wrong, watching you play
sport, attending a graduation, being
a patient taxi driver, loving you
unconditionally... and, of course,
occasionally ruefully looking
through his wallet!
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