Dear Dad

Happy Father’s Day 2015!  In this second part of our celebration, writers and contributors Olga Wojtas, Kendra Olson and Coreen Connell share personal tributes to their dear dads…


My Dad The Architect

He draws elevations, front and side.

He ensures that lifts didn’t stop between floors.

He understands building codes and zoning laws.

He fell down a manhole and damaged his thumb nail.

He helped the Royal Observatory to follow the stars.

He combines art and science, science and art.

He puts a roof over our heads.

Olga Wojtas



My father is a teacher, and has been for as long as he has been a father. He’s spent his life inspiring others to pursue knowledge, to think critically about what they know and are told.  My father was a PhD student when I was a toddler. As my mother worked during the day and they were not able to afford childcare, he had no choice but to take me with him to lectures. He would later claim that I was very well behaved, looking through my own books while he studied. When I was in grade school he taught young boys with serious emotional disturbances and learning disabilities.  Some of these boys turned out to excel at mathematics, studying calculus before their eighth birthdays. Fast forward ten years and my dad began teaching English to non-native speakers, most of them students from other countries, whom he helped to get into university. Many of them later went on to become doctors and engineers in the US and back in their home countries. The knowledge they had gained allowed them to go beyond what they thought possible. Indeed, my father’s erudition and creativity in the classroom has allowed him to teach students he may not have originally considered. Of course, it’s not only my father’s students who feel inspired by him, but also his children.  Although I don’t think I could ever live up to my dad, I think teaching is something I just might look into doing once I finish my degree.

Kendra Olson


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

My Father, who art in Australia

Living apart for so long

Doesn’t diminish my love for you

I remember the happy times

The sad times but

You were always there.

The happy days when you showed me how to ride a bike

A blue Raleigh girl’s bike with a basket you mounted on the front

The one you chose and wrapped for my birthday

The one you mended, the flat tyres, the broken bell

And your patience you showed when teaching me to ride

Until I graduated to the Moped, you bought for me.

I remember how I was so embarrassed

Every time we were at a restaurant, the shops or such

You would, somehow, manage to say something

I would redden and you would laugh

Encouraging you to go further, to continue the next time

And now, ironically, I continue the family trait.

There was no ugly, except on my part

And for that, I’m truly sorry.

I remember you trying to jump over the roses

Trying to catch me – after, well I was naughty,

But I deserved to have been caught.

There’s nothing like having one’s own family to realise the difficulties of bringing up children.

Sorry Dad for all the trouble, the heartache and the worry you went through.

Coreen Connell


(All works remain the copyright of the individual authors.  Please contact for permission to reprint.)


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