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On Father's Day I'll remember my great Dad

Gail Walker's weekly articles are always a good read. Although some of her chosen subjects would challenge my own judgment, I enjoyed her incisive comments on the Queen Mum, Bruce Forsyth and her own Dad (Life, June 14).

Gail's prose on her chosen subjects is informative, kind and emotional. Her warm tribute to her late father touched a chord or three. Gail could have been reminiscing about my Dad - the mirror-image was so clear.

My late father was a man who knew the value of a pound, or a penny, yet was generous in the extreme.

He loved animals, children, people of all creeds and none. I can remember, as a young boy, being introduced to a man he called "Uncle Joe".

This softly-spoken countryman was, as I discovered many years later, not a relative, yet he became a life-long friend of our family. Dad had managed to get Uncle Joe a job in H&W shipyard. For a Catholic to be given work in shipbuilding in the late-1950s was unheard of in Belfast.

Dad just said he was the best workman he had ever met. I could fill this page (and many others) about my father and his memory. Sadly, he died on Boxing Day more than 13 years ago.

This Father's Day, just like Gail, I'll reminisce and remember: my Dad's laugh, his funny way with words, his love of life and his helping hand to anyone who crossed his path. Yes, I miss my Dad, every day with every heartbeat.


From Belfast Telegraph