A Tribute To My Father - George Ingram 1879 - 1974

Kingwell By Kingwell, 25th Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/335swpr6/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Family

A tribute to my late father who was also my greatest teacher.

The Early Years.

My father was born at Harbour Buffett, Newfoundland on February 27, 1879, the second child and eldest son of Henry Ingram and Mary Ann Pafford. The world was quite a different place from today. Queen Victoria was still on the throne of England, The Boer War had not yet started, Rutherford B. Hayes Was President of The United States, the American civil war had ended just over a decade earlier and the disastrous voyage of the Titanic would not take place for another thirty-three years! There was a school in Harbour Buffett but in 1884, a few months before my father was to begin his education, the family pulled up roots and moved to the tiny community of Corney's Cove where only one other family lived, and where of course, there were no halls of hallowed learning. Henry who had gone to school for a few years, taught his son to read and write, and that was enough for my father who thirsted for knowledge as a fish for water. There were few books to be found but my grandfather had a subscription to The Family Herald and Weekly Star, a newspaper published in rural Quebec. Then too there was the family Bible, the King James Version of course, and by age ten my father was reading at a grade eight level! A few years later he obtained a copy of a dictionary - it was a small boy and dad devoured it as he had all others, learning the pronunciation, spelling and meaning of every word. Later in life he would become a Lay Minister, a voluntary position with the Church of England in Newfoundland.

A Boy becomes a Man.

There was little time for study however, as he starting accompanying grandfather in the fishing boat at the age of ten. This meant arising before daylight and sometimes working until late into the evening. When they weren't fishing they were cutting firewood and Sunday was the only day of rest. Even calling the Sabbath a day of rest is a bit far-fetched for the whole family would walk to the nearest church, a distance that took more than two hours, for both morning and evening services. Life on the windswept island of Newfoundland was very difficult in those long ago days and for a while dad dreamt of travelling to western Canada in search of something better but instead he married, raised a family and hoped for better days in the land of his birth.

A second Marriage and latter years.

There was no medical doctor in the section of Newfoundland where my father lived and many people died early in life. In 1915 my father's first wife died in childbirth leaving him with four children the oldest of which was eight years. For the next four years he cared for the children and managed to eek out a living from the sea at the same time. In 1919 he met and married my mother, who had been widowed with one child at the age of 21. Now 24 years old, she was 17 years his junior! They went on to raise another five children of which I am the youngest and in 1974 celebrated 55 years of wedded bliss! His love of learning stayed with him throughout life - something which he tried diligently to pass on to his children. In 1949, the year that dad saw his dream of Newfoundland becoming a province of Canada fulfilled, he turned seventy years of age and also lost his eyesight due to cataracts. For the next twenty-five years he lived in darkness but with an attitude of acceptance that few could attain. His beloved books no longer an option, he now followed world events, including man's first lunar land through the medium of radio. On September 17, 1974, at the age of 95, my father made his transition to the next dimension - and to quote his beloved Bible, "he slept with his fathers".

Tags

American Civil War, Blindness, Boer War, Canada, Carpenter, Cataract, Church Of Enland, Dominion Of Newfoundland, Fisherman, Great Britain, Lay Minster, Moon Landing, Queen Victoria, Radio, Rutherford B Hayes, Western Canada

Meet the author

author avatar Kingwell
I am 75 years old and retired.I like writing short stories, poetry as well other articles of interest.

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Comments

author avatar cnwriter..carolina
26th Jul 2014 (#)

a lovely tribute...thank you Kingwell...

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author avatar Kingwell
26th Jul 2014 (#)

Thank you for commenting my friend.

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author avatar AnnH
27th Jul 2014 (#)

Nice tribute Kingwell.....

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author avatar Kingwell
27th Jul 2014 (#)

Thank you AnnH.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
27th Jul 2014 (#)

A simple and contented life lived for others so that they have a better foundation. That is the least we all can do. Thanks for this heartfelt and well deserved tribute, Kingwell - siva

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author avatar Kingwell
27th Jul 2014 (#)

Thank you Siva.

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author avatar spirited
28th Jul 2014 (#)

a long life with a quarter of it spent in darkness, but all of it lived from the light, just the same,

A heartfelt tribute Kingwell

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author avatar Kingwell
28th Jul 2014 (#)

Thank you Spirited.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
18th Aug 2014 (#)

A very beautiful share Kingwell...

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