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Father’s Day. The recent passage of Father’s Day got me thinking. I am a father, and I had a father so, this was a day that I should celebrate. But thinking about my dad led me off in a different direction. My dad and I had a curious relationship. He was the product of post-Victorian colonial prejudice which left him somewhat distant and undemonstrative. His parents were Jewish, but my paternal grandfather had changed his name from Cohen to Charles in (what I presume was) an attempt to forge a better relationship with polite society in early Rhodesia. But it didn’t work.

His parents relocated to South Africa, leaving him in a Rhodesian boarding school that must have been pretty grim. My father, diligent and gifted as he was, had a hard time at the prestigious Milton High School. Anti-Semitism there was rife, and he wasn’t allowed to hold office as House Captain or prefect in his final year, despite being voted for by his peers.

During the war, my dad volunteered for active service in Egypt and Italy. He returned to South Africa to join an engineering company where he would eventually become the chairman.He did well, my old man. He married a wonderful woman, and they had a good life with their three children, of which, I was the eldest.

I loved my dad. He was my absolute hero in every respect. I just wish that I had been courageous enough to tell him how much he meant to me. But I never did. We didn’t have that sort of relationship. A firm handshake was as close as it ever came to the hug that now I wish I had given him – even just once.But that wasn’t how I was raised, and it probably would have felt awkward. I tried to do things differently when I became a dad. I am not sure that I succeeded all that well. But I am still working on it.

Anthony Hopkins makes a lot of sense in his observation below:

“None of us are getting out of here alive. So please stop treating yourself like an afterthought. Eat delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Tell the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There is no time for anything else.

**Dave Charles presents the Afternoon Show 1-5pm on 88FM Radio Life&Style - The Voice of Ballito


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