Pam Pardy-Ghent: Hats off to Dads

Dad’s come in all shapes and sizes. They are in all professions, too. Our premier, Dwight Ball, is a father, one who has spoken publicly about the struggle of loving an only child as they navigate the cruel, nasty realities of addiction and all that entails. 

No, no one ever said being a dad was easy, did they? They never said it was glamorous, either, though it does have its moments. 

Scott Stirling, President and CEO of Newfoundland Broadcasting Company Ltd., is a dad. He recently shared an image he found as he hunted through old photographs. In it, his father and The Herald’s founder, the late Geoff Stirling, meets his granddaughter Lydia for the very first time. 

‘I’d like to help’

Having your dad meet your child is obviously a proud moment for any father. Being a grandpa has to be up there too, and seeing our CEO clown around with son Jesse’s daughter, Olivia, on his down time is simply precious. 

Dads and grandpas aren’t always around, though. Some work out west, others are in the military, while others still spend weeks away at sea. 

Other dads answer a  calling and serve the people, and we profile one this week inside these very pages. Nick Whalen, as a Member of Parliament, spends his work week in Ottawa, but that doesn’t mean his family can’t spend any quality time together. 

When the Prime Minister comes to town and dad has to play host, the kids go along sometimes. When it’s time to campaign, the kids will tie up their laces and hit the road alongside dad when they can. While Whalen’s son was too young to get involved last go ‘round, this year is different and he is looking forward to knocking on doors with his dad and sister, simply saying, “I’d like to help.” 

This province has many dad’s we can cheer about on Father’s Day. There’s dads we picture singing their wee ones to sleep each night, like Alan Doyle, Bob Hallett and Sean Panting surely do, right?  

Saluting all dads 

There’s the sports hero dads like Brad Gushue, Mark Nichols, and Carl English who, guaranteed, pass along their passion for the game to their own lads and lassies. NL comedian dads surely tickle little funny-bones. Sure, Mark Critch must crack his youngsters up and it’s thrilling to watch dad-to-be Shaun Majumder as he comically chronicles his baby’s journey into the world for all to enjoy and participate in.

But not all dads are quite as well known. There’s dads who work everyday inside prison walls, witness to God only knows what before coming home with a smile to read a bedtime story and tuck a child in bed. There’s many a dad out keeping others safe as they patrol the streets while the rest of us snore the night away. Dads drive heavy equipment trucks around work sites across this province adding yet another layer of dust to their already crusted dad jeans. 

Fathers turn road signs that tell us to stop or go near construction sites earning a middle finger for their efforts on a good day. Dads drive taxis, answer phones, swing hammers, clean windows, and they sell cars – doing whatever they can to earn a living for those they love most, their families. 

No matter what dads work at, it’s what they do when off the clock and with the kids that matters most. Premier, CEO, MP, musician, sports hero, oil sands worker, police officer, prison guard or meteorologist … hats off to all fathers this Father’s Day.  May it be a grand one, because that’s exactly what you all deserve. 

Pam Pardy Ghent, The Herald’s Managing Editor, can be reached by emailing [email protected]

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