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For My Father


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My dad passed away on the 13th September 2004 after being diagnosed with Cancer only weeks before - he was only on morphine for 1 day - so I guess I am blessed that he didnt suffer long - This is the eulogy I wrote and read for him

The face I loved is missing; the voice I loved is still

The hands that did so much for all, are resting at Gods will

It breaks my heart to lose him, but he did not go alone

For a part of me went with him, now God has called him home

Born in Dowlais South Wales on the 6th May 1934 to Eva-May and William John.

Dad had 2 younger brothers David and Bryan, who unfortunately are unable to be with us today, but are here in spirit.

Dad grew up and was educated in Merthyr Tydfil South Wales, and at the tender age of 15 took on the father role of his brothers when his father passed away.

He did an electrical apprenticeship with ICI in South Wales; in lieu of national service he joined Royal Naval Reserves. At 21 he did his national service with the Royal Navy. During which time he married Sheila Ann 4th June 1955. He was the father to 4 children Denise, Cheryl, Kelvin and myself. After the completion of his national service he resumed employment at ICI. After this he worked as a time study officer for the Merthyr Borough Council. During which time he became interested in the workings of Local Government.

My earliest memory of dad was in the local baths when he would amaze us with his skill of holding his breath under water whilst we would walk on his back.

In July 1971 he made the bold move of bringing us to Australia, to find a better life for us.

Dad commenced working at BHP as an Electrician in the BOS, and enjoyed a full community life. Ensuring the needs of all were catered for.

Dad was always out there for people in the community, always willing to open the door for anyone who needed help in anyway. And if he couldn’t help he went out of his way to find where they could get the help that they required.

In 1973 Dad approached the local councillor of the time with an idea for organising a group for young teens and after being scoffed at, in his usual manner took matters into his own hands and ran for the seat at the local council. He door knocked every house in the electorate of Whyalla Stuart, spoke to every householder regarding the then issues of the area, including a school crossing for Flinders Avenue and more street lighting for the area. He was elected to council in July 1973. During the 28 years of his service to the Whyalla Community he served on many organisations ranging from President to committee member.

Dads welsh heritage was one of the most important part of his life, the hiraeth was strong. And in the words of the song we’ll keep a welcome, his longing and yearning for Wales became instrumental in his actioning of a plan he hatched to organise a trip back to Wales which has been enjoyed by many people to travel home, this became an annual event with the airline organising a plane to Whyalla to pick up the passengers as the number was bigger than anyone had ever imagined.

When Dad heard that Harry Secombe was coming to Australia Dad approached the owner of the Westland hotel to bring him here, the manager replied that there would not be enough support to render such a request feasible. Dad in his usual manner went round and rallied support for his idea and the place was booked to capacity. And the night was a resounding success with people travelling from Adelaide.

Dad was instrumental in bringing the “Whyalla” home to rest during 1985. He enjoyed the challenge and the involvement of ensuring that the Whyalla was resting in her rightful place.

For many years Dad enjoyed bringing joy to many children as Santa in the Whyalla Pageant.

Dad had an awesome sense of humour, which we all have been privileged to gain from him. one of Denise’s suitors was the first to gain an insight to OUR Family when on their second date was sent off with a packed lunch so that he didn’t eat his daughter.

To us kids Dad seemed extremely strict; the curfews we endured seemed inappropriate to us at the time. one friend once commented be thankful your parents actually care enough to give you a time to come home. And although we may not have felt them fair the care and loving from the family life we had has given us some values that we will carry through our lives proudly.

Our poor mother had a lot to endure from dad, in his extremely caring way dad was always willing to bring home people who were in need of help, Christmas was a joyous time for us and often became a larger affair, as if we didn’t have enough family to enjoy the festivities with dad was often seen out and about looking for those who would be on their own for the day, he would pick them up and bring them home to join us.

Do you recall the verse that says “someone else” will do it, well from a very early age I discovered that my father was that “someone else”. A person who was always there for others he instilled most of my life values. When someone needed a hand my father had two. When something needed doing Dad was willing to pitch in. Whether it was donating blood or organising things for the community Dad would of been there, whether pulling up his sleeves or making phone calls writing letters Dad was there.

The face I loved is missing; the voice I loved is still

The hands that did so much for all, are resting at Gods will

It breaks my heart to lose him, but he did not go alone

For a part of me went with him, now God has called him home

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