Happy 80th Birthday, Dad

Just over a week ago, my family and I flew to Hobart to
celebrate the 80th birthday of my father, Tony.   
 
It was a small
family occasion on Saturday night as we shared stories, food and drink.  
 

It’s hard to comprehend how different the world was
on 25 February 1934, when my father was born, the youngest of four children
to Alfred and Edith, who worked the family farm two hours south of Hobart.   
 
The impact of the Great Depression was being felt across the world and the
start of the Second World War was still five years away.  
 

My paternal grandfather, Alfred James Clennett was an ANZAC, who passed
away in 1950 when my father was 16, having suffered a heart attack at the age
of 62.

Ross and Dad Feb2014

CLICK TO ENLARGE

With Dad at home in Hobart celebrating his 80th birthday.
February 2014
I have had the benefit of having my father in my
life as a child, teenager, young adult and as a father myself. My father didn’t
have that benefit of those final two life stages with his father.  
 

Dad set the standards in my life for respect of
others, courage, hard work and commitment to family. Dad didn’t need to say
much; his actions did all the talking.   
 
He let me find my own way in life,
never preaching nor interfering, just encouraging and setting the standard
for the behavior he valued. As a father of three very independently-minded
children, I now understand how challenging that can be at times!  
 

My father has been my biggest supporter. He’s been
there for me through thick and thin, encouraging me and believing in me.   
 
Those tough times (a marriage breakdown, a career failure and a business
failure) were times in my life when I needed him the most and Dad was always
there to give me what I needed at that time.  
 

Happy birthday, Dad and thanks; you’ve been the best
father a boy and man could possibly have. I hope I finish up being at least
half the man and father you are.  
 

Love,  
 

Ross

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