Celebrating the men in our lives: Father’s Day

Father’s Day; celebrated on the first Sunday of every September.

“…father (Gus Watts) and Ralph, fixing our troublesome car.” File Reference: HWC08-SO109CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 NZ

Father’s Day seems a good time to reflect upon what dad has done for you over the years. Perhaps his crowning achievement is simply to have survived having you as a child. Sure, you didn’t ask to be born…but I for one am somewhat glad I was. And I was not a particularly pleasant child if stories are to be believed.

“Tarts!” toddler me shrieked and pointed at the tights-clad ladies walking down the street. And that was just the beginning.

In view of my tumultuous childhood (my behaviour, not my parent’s parenting) I have been trying harder to practice the art of gratitude – with varying levels of success – as gratitude is an integral part of any healthy relationship and just as important for your own happiness as it is to that of those around you. Thankfully it doesn’t have to be a grand or expensive gesture; sometimes the little things say so much. And what better day than Father’s Day to pour a little energy in to this endeavour, and let your father know how grateful you are to have him in your life.

  • Here are some ways you could show that, this September:
    • Pay back that ‘loan’ you have been owing him for years
    • Invite him over (or out) for dinner
    • A voucher for his favourite bookstore perhaps
    • A card with a nice message
    • Family tickets to the Canterbury Astronomical Society public open nights
    • Tickets to one of the WORD Festival events
    • Let him whatever kind of man he is that he’ll always be “Manly As”. (All Right have some cute posters and postcards that might do the trick)

Or if your budget is a little higher, Christchurch also offers some unique, unusual and out there options: try sensory deprivation float tanks, suspending him high in the air at Adrenalin Forest, hot air ballooning or an east-west coast (and back!) scenic train ride.

My go-to Father’s Day/Father’s Birthday present of the last decade has been a bit less inspired; the unique coffee related contraption. So far we’ve cycled through the Vietnamese coffee brewer, rude coffee cups, several travel coffee mugs, chocolate coated coffee beans…

Father’s Day cardmaking at Shirley Library, 2016. Photo from Flickr.

Here are some books from our collection to help you get started and perhaps provide some much needed inspiration.

DIY Father’s Day Gifts

A Father’s Bookshelf

Images of Fathers Doing Their Thing

Here are a couple of photos of fathers from our digital image collection on Kete Christchurch. Kete Christchurch is an online resource bringing together records of local events, people and places – current and historical. You are welcome to contribute your own images to the collection, for the enjoyment of all Cantabrians 🙂 To do so, register an account.

The Farm Bloke

Jack, Jill, Neville (father) & Trevor Holt on tarmac machine borrowed from Burnside Engineering to lay driveway at Holt residence, 36 Brighton Rd Green Island, Dunedin. c. 1953, Kete Christchurch. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ

The City Bloke

My father at Bridge of Remembrance, Christchurch ca 1923, after returning from 1st World war.” Photo from Kete Christchurch. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ

Happy Father’s Day!

Father’s Day

CoverBring it on – I am prepared!!

On Sunday 4 September I will be armed with both a card and a small gift to celebrate the fact that I have a long-suffering but wonderful father.

When considerably younger I possibly needed a ‘mental jog’ about the impending event from my ‘constantly on my case’ mum, but in more recent times (a few exceptions aside when I was in different hemispheres and the dates were different), I have managed a card at the very least.

CoverMy last-ditch attempts during my self-obsessed teenage years must have been very taxing, but it sharpened up Dad’s ‘acting skills’ as he managed to look delighted when yet another ‘Brut soap on a rope’ appeared.  I hit the jackpot one year when I recycled a mother’s day present (who I found out was not a fan of ‘crooners’), and Dad became the proud owner of Francis Albert Sinatra’s ‘Greatest Hits’. That was indeed ‘a very good year’.

Fascinated since childhood by all things nautical – past, present and future – he has, since retirement, done a lot of reading courtesy of Christchurch City Libraries, ploughing through C S Forester’s ‘Hornblower‘ novels; Patrick O’Brien’s Captain Jack Aubrey works and recently Dewey Lambdin’s main character Alan Lewrie.

If transported through the medium of print or film back to the Golden Age of  Sailing albeit in the form of Egyptian wooden sailing Feluccas, Spanish Armadas, Tea Clippers, early Ocean Liners and Thor Heyerdahl‘s balsa wood ‘Kon-Tiki’ expedition you witness a totally captivated audience of one!

Many a Sunday night we sat down to watch The Onedin Line ; the Pater to appreciate wooden vessels whilst I watched a ‘period drama’ unfold and desperately hoped the seas wouldn’t be too choppy, NEVER having been a good sailor!!

The Christchurch City Libraries holds a wealth of information that keep fathers occupied and out of trouble – what can all its resources offer your Dad? Investigate all the possibilities – books, ebooks, audiobooks, films and report back (especially if I’ve missed a little ‘gem’ in the nautical line).

Oh, and the gift definitely isn’t soap-on-a-rope this time Dad!!

Celebrating Father’s Day

Father’s day makes us pause, remember and show love and appreciation for our dads.

Dad and Daughter
Dad and Daughter

Some of us resist the  overt commercialism of it, while others of us love to buy gifts; either way most of us find it impossible to ignore. So kids everywhere, young and old, make or buy cards and plan something special. (often with a tad of help from mums and teachers.)

Do we find it as easy to make a fuss of Dad, as we do Mum? Breakfast trays adorned with a posy in a vase may not cut it for him. Though a tray with the Sunday paper might. What do dads want from their children on Father’s Day?  A quick verbal survey of some dads I know, varying in age, came up with these answers:

  • a card with genuine expressions of why they like having me as their dad.
  • real time together on the day – something we choose to do together.
  • a day trip, somewhere we don’t often get to go.
  • a meal out together.
  • letting me show them photos of when I was a kid.
  • hugs and no hassling for the whole day.
  • the latest Lee Child and whiskey would be good
    an undisturbed sleep-in then bacon and eggs.

Not many surprises there. Dads here mostly want to hang out with their offspring and /or have some rest. Unlike the traditional German Father’s Day Hike when men hightail it into the woods, pulling a wagon laden with beer and wine. Quite a different emphasis! To be fair in Germany the day is also known simply as Men’s Day.

Father's Day Outing
Father’s Day Outing

Parenting is not something we’re taught in school. It’s a strange new land for all of us who take that journey and we can often need advice and especially encouragement. There is a wealth of resources for fathering right at the library. Not to mention BabyTimes and StoryTimes held weekly in our libraries.

Dads, however you choose to spend it have a very happy Father’s day! We wouldn’t be here without you.

Cover of Don't puke on your dadCover of Fathers who dare winCover of The night of the living dadCover of Beginning fatherhood

Happy Father’s Day to all you Dads

Kia ora and Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads. Search our catalogue for stuff about fatherhood, fathers, and daddydom, and here are some Dads from our photo collection (including mine):
Tuckered Out at Governor’s Bay

North East Christchurch Energy Group - "Wrong" sign
StellaDennis

How fathers occupied themselves at a day at the beach playing cards.

Dave Reynolds won a  Highly Commended Prize in last year’s photohunt for a series of family photos. Some lovely Dad shots in there:

Photo of Grandfather pushing grandson in the family go-kart Photo of Watching TV after a family tea Photo of Family barbecue  Photo of Summer day at Pines Beach Photo of The new Christmas bike   Photo of Family birthday

Happy Father’s Day

Kia ora and Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads.

Here’s some Dads in our Flickr collection of photos:

North East Christchurch Energy Group - "Wrong" sign
StellaDennis “First Date Night”
“Fast foot forward”
Tuckered Out at Governor’s BayFathers and babies
How fathers occupied themselves at a day at the beach playing cards.
Family Portrait‘Make mine music’

Fathers Day competition

BoyinReadReadingHere’s a press release from Booksellers NZ:
“DAD, CAN YOU READ ME A STORY?”
 What did your dad read to you?
From much-loved bedtime stories, to well-thumbed chapter books, over the years dads around the country have been patiently reading stories to their kids – over and over again! He has wholeheartedly re-enacted Red Riding Hood’s high-pitched “What big teeth you have!”, woofed along joyfully with Hairy Maclary, and has done his best to get his tongue around ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ after a beer and a long day at work.

In celebration of Father’s Day, we want you, your customers, workmates, neighbours, family & friends to tell us about a favourite book you remember reading with your dad.

WIN! 3 x $100 Book Tokens prizes
3 winners will be selected and each receive a $100 Book Token (in time for Father’s Day)
20 Award-winning books to be given away

All entries will go into the draw to win one of 20 award-winning New Zealand books from the 2009 Montana New Zealand Book Awards (books will be randomly selected – could be a glossy coffee table book or a gripping fiction read).

All entries will be published on the Booksellers NZ website, and the 3 winning stories will be selected and published in the Capital Times in Wellington on Wednesday 2 September – in celebration of books and dads!