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Obituary: Loving, affectionate, kind... I couldn't have asked for a better father


Charismatic: Herbert Edgar

Charismatic: Herbert Edgar

Charismatic: Herbert Edgar

My dad Adam Herbert Edgar (Herbie) died on March 7, 2015 aged 87.

His death notice was published in this newspaper but, like every family announcement, there was a bigger story behind those few short sentences.

As his daughter, it's my privilege to tell some of that story and share a few personal memories of my dad. He was a Christmas baby - born at home in Moybrick, outside Dromara, Co Down, on December 16, 1927, the fourth child of six.

My Auntie Beth, Dad's sister who now lives in Canada, recalls how as a young girl she had to walk a distance of around four miles to school. As the baby of the family, she struggled so my dad carried her on his shoulders. She has always loved him for that.

This kindness, as well as physical strength, would last a lifetime.

He was a cycling champion three years running, competing in an elimination road race called Devil Take the Hindmost. In later years he swapped racing bicycles with racing pigeons.

A builder by trade, he could turn his hand to anything: he once installed central heating at home following a book he'd borrowed from the library.

As a dad, he was ahead of his time, embracing whichever hobbies his four children adopted.

When it was badminton, Dad tied up a net in the garden and played with us on summer nights until darkness fell. When it was gymnastics he welded metal poles to make an asymmetric bar so I could train at home, standing beside me to catch me if I fell.

And when my sister wanted a horse, dad bought her a pony at a market in Banbridge. He didn't own a horsebox to transport the animal but that didn't stop him, riding it home along the A1 without a hard hat or even a saddle.

Dad was a paradox - although quiet he was charismatic and could tell a riveting story with lots of Ulster Scots thrown in. He loved Irish folklore, repeating tales he'd heard as a boy about ghosts and fairies. He'd insert the name of a real person, ensuring we believed every word. One of my earliest memories is holding his hand on a long walk through the fields on an unsuccessful fairy hunt. As he explained, the little people were hiding that day. I have so many happy memories of dad. He loved making people laugh even if it meant he was the butt of the joke. He was loving, affectionate and kind - a complete one-off.

There will never be anyone else like Herbie Edgar and I'm so proud and thankful that he was my dad. I couldn't have asked for a better father.

- gail henderson

Belfast Telegraph