A Tribute to My Dad

Kingwell By Kingwell, 16th Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

Despite the hardships of the time, my father who was born in 1879 lived to the ripe old age of 95 years. This is a tribute to my greatest teacher and the most remarkably man I have ever met - My Dad.

The year was 1879.

My father George Ingram was born on February 27, 1879, the same day that Constantine Fahlberg discovered the artificial sweetener, Saccharin. The world of 1879 was a far cry from that of today. Queen Victoria ruled not only Great Britain, but the greatest empire the world had ever known. Among her many titles was the lofty “Empress of India”. Rutherford B Hayes was President of the United States and the Boer War had just begun. F. W. Woolworth established the first five and ten cent store on February 22 and Madison Square Garden was opened in May of the same year. It was in 1879 too that Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, the Gilbert and Sullivan opera “Pirates of Penzance” premiered in New York City and Jesse James robbed his first train.

The Early Years

Dad was the second child and eldest son of Henry Ingram and Mary Ann Pafford Ingram of Harbour Buffeff in the Dominion of Newfoundland. Henry, like most Newfoundlanders of his day was a fisherman and when my father was six years old and ready to begin school, he took up stakes and relocated to Corney’s Cove, a settlement of perhaps three or four families and of course with no school. Fortunately, my grandfather had attended school himself and was able to teach dad to read and write as well as the basics of arithmetic. My father took to reading like a duck to water and his appetite for learning never abated. At the age of eight, Dad went in the fishing boat with his father and with a couple of exceptions it remained his lifetime career.

Marriages and Children

In 1906 at the age of 27, he married Elizabeth Peach and the couple had five children, three boys and two girls. Sadly Elizabeth died in childbirth in 1915 and their youngest son a few weeks later. With four children, ages two to eight to care for, it was without doubt, the most difficult period of his life. Dad did not shrink from the task however and somehow managed to keep the family together. Four years later he married my mother, Patience Hann-Gilbert, who had herself been widowed at the age of 21 and had one daughter. She was also 17 years his junior. Mom and dad had six children together, one of whom died in infancy, and of which I am the youngest.
Dad was well into his 61st year when I was born in October of 1939 and mom had turned 43 a few months earlier. They had been together for twenty years and had survived many hardships, including the death of mom’s daughter from her first marriage in 1936, as well as the arduous years notoriously known of the ‘dirty thirties’.

Old Age and Blindness.

My birth may not have been planned or even expected but the outbreak of World War II had brought an end to the depression years, and better financial times were on the horizon. I was just ten years old when dad lost his eyesight due to cataracts, a condition for which there was no cure at the time. That year also saw Newfoundland become a province of Canada and greater economic security including senior’s pensions and a small family allowance paid to the parents of children under the age of 16. Dad however, could no longer read and it fell to an older brother and later to me, to read aloud to him from whatever newspapers and books available at the time. It was a task that we both enjoyed immensely for dad demanded nothing of us, but was content with any time that we were willing to give. He was patience personified and I never knew him to complain. My early teens were some of the best and most memorable years of my life, for much of it was spent in the company of my father, my greatest teacher and my beloved Dad.

Saying Good Night.

Dad lived for twenty-five years in darkness, making his transition to a higher realm on September 17, 1974. He was 95 years old. He not only lived to see me grow up, something he may have wondered about when I was born, but he also lived to see my three children. As we laid him to rest on that fateful day, I was reminded of the words of his beloved Bible“and he slept with his fathers”.

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Comments

author avatar Kingwell
16th Jun 2013 (#)

That was quick. Thank you Mark.

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author avatar philpalm
16th Jun 2013 (#)

Great that the tribute to your father is now here at wikinuts on father's day here in the states.

I suppose your father could not see the collapse of the cod industry ( I am guessing either Lobster or Cod your father caught)

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author avatar Kingwell
16th Jun 2013 (#)

No, my father did not live to see the collapse of the Cod Fishery. He caught both Lobster and Cod in his day but the fishermen were paid very little.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
16th Jun 2013 (#)

Touching tribute to a man who lived his life as it should be. His love, gratitude and compassion leave a deep impression - thanks Kingwell, I am sure he has blessed you well - siva

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author avatar Kingwell
16th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you Siva. We were a close family and we all loved and respected our parents. There are just three of us living now and the oldest is 90. She had Cancer surgery in early May and is recovering well.

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author avatar johnnydod
16th Jun 2013 (#)

A Wonderful tribute to, it is plain to see a remarkable man, Your father,
Very touching.

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author avatar Kingwell
16th Jun 2013 (#)

Hi johnnydod, thank you for your comment, I appreciate it. My father was a remarkable man. Self educated, he was once taken for a college graduate. lol!

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author avatar Delicia Powers
16th Jun 2013 (#)

Just beautiful my friend...and Happy Fathers Day...:0)-you have brought its true meaning home to me...thanks Kingswell for this lovely page-:0)

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author avatar Kingwell
16th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you for read and for your comment my friend.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
16th Jun 2013 (#)

Sorry- I do know well,it is Kingwell-:0)

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
16th Jun 2013 (#)

I like my dad too, he is still alive and have wonderful memories of the past time history. I just wonder, how fast the time has been changed since 1945.

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author avatar Kingwell
16th Jun 2013 (#)

Hi md, Thank you for commenting. You are fortunate that your dad is still living. Times have changed so much over the years.

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author avatar Terry Trainor
16th Jun 2013 (#)

Great tribute my friend.

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author avatar Kingwell
16th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you Terry.

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author avatar Eileen Ward Birch
16th Jun 2013 (#)

Good stuff

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author avatar Kingwell
16th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you Eileen.

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author avatar Carol
16th Jun 2013 (#)

Such a beautiful tribute to you Dad, it brought tears to my eyes.

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author avatar Kingwell
17th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you Carol.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
17th Jun 2013 (#)

yes indeed a wonderful tribute my friend...blessings...

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author avatar Kingwell
17th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you cn.

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author avatar Shirley Shuler
17th Jun 2013 (#)

What a beautiful tribute to your dad, Kingwell...many blessings friend

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author avatar Kingwell
17th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you Shirley

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author avatar Chris Breva
17th Jun 2013 (#)

What a beautiful tribute to a fine man Kingwell. blessings to you.

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author avatar Kingwell
18th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you Chris

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author avatar Walter rodway
5th Sep 2013 (#)

nice story,mose.i knew him well,but some of the things you mentioned were new to me.he was a very nice man.

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author avatar Kingwell
20th May 2015 (#)

Thank you Walt. You wrote this nearly two years ago and I just saw it today. He was your great uncle and we are first cousins once removed.
Mose

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