Happy Birthday Dad

My dad would have turned 82 today.  He lived an extraordinary life being born in Coventry doing the world war and seeing Coventry bombed.  He moved to South Africa and then took a job in Zambia as an accountant.

He was mad about football, especially Coventry football club and Saturday afternoons were always watching sport.  He had a good idea of how to fix most things which was especially good as I was very proficient at breaking things, especially electronics.  He was not the most social person but my mother made up for that in spades.  Whereas my dad would be reading books or lecturing us kids on the best way to kill someone my mother would be making cakes, knitting, sewing and cooking up a storm.

Growing up in Zimbabwe was good for us kids but I think harder for the adults especially during the Rhodesian civil war.  My dad was harder and bitter once he came out of the army.  I dont blame him it was a tough time and I think he saw some really terrible things.  My first driving lesson was on how to avoid landmines!


Moving to South Africa was a big decision, I was only 14 and my dad had to start over again as Mugabe (Zimbabwe’s President) did not allow any new furniture, cars or money to go over the border.   I think when my mom passed away my dad found it very difficult.  My mom was only 53.

My dad did much travelling in his later years and loved it. He also lost most of the sight in one eye which meant driving with him was a interesting challenge!  Even in my 40’s he would only let me drive his car on long straight roads.

I found this email from my dad which really sums him up “Stop whining. When the going gets tough the tough get going especially the Smiths”





5 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Dad

  1. Lovely blog and homage to your Dad. Best so far! I remember his driving us to that game park just outside JoBurg, smoking, windows wound up, driving erratically (failing eyesight explains a lot) It was a privelege to have met him and be welcomed to your home x
    Happy Birthday and RIP Mr Smith

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Trace, I m really glad you are writing!!
    Uncle Kieth thanks for teaching me maths and for letting Tracy and I annoy you with our rendition of “Dancing queen”. Auntie Meg, thank you for the best sandwiches with crisps I ever tasted, and for your truly awesome hugs. Never forget, never forgotten always loved.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. First time i saw a picture of my granfather in 7 years. I cried and still am. I don’t think I’m ever going to stop soon. Looking at his photo just reminded me of my Dad. I miss our house..his room. How he had two beds but only slept on one. We used to hide his cigarettes for him whenever Aunty June came to visit. He hated us using his telephone(landline) because it costed so much. When i was in Grade 2 he said do things you’ve never done so you can learn thing’s you didn’t know. So i played Cricket and he came to my first game which was at Meredale Primary. From Grade 1-3.. I was in the Top 10 . I had medals and certificates. I don’t think he’s proud of what I’ve become or if he’s given up on me But every night i can still hear my Father praying.. he hasn’t stopped since and neither will I.


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