Dads makes a difference. Make some memories with your fathers


My dad nearly died many times.

He served as a RAF pilot during World War II when longevity was rare. Later, not long before I was born, he was badly injured in a civil air accident when his aircraft iced up.

When I was three-years-old he had two engine failures in single-engine aircraft but successfully landed on rugged South Island beaches.

When I was 10-years-old, he was nearly killed with a double engine failure and crash landing into the Shotover River at Queenstown, close to our home. When I was 15-years-old, he again nearly died from peritonitis.

Suddenly, when I was 27-years-old my Dad did die, while I was in my first year of church and community ministry. I still miss him these 35 years on.

My Dad – Captain Brian Waugh – made a big impression on me, not only his flying adventures but because he was a good man. He gave us children time with a special focus for each of us; for me, it was especially about cars; for my sister music and my brother rugby.

In his younger days, my Dad was not especially spiritual; yet he supported my Mum and came to church when he was able.

Later in life he made a more deliberate commitment to God, thankful for God’s protection over his life, and became an intentional and growing disciple of Jesus Christ, never missing a Sunday in worship.

I cherish the memory of his prayers at family mealtimes and encouragement at key times in my early life; when I first started work as a 17-year-old in the motor industry, commending my ministry call and meeting my wife-to-be. All those memories mean a great deal to me.

If your Dad is alive; cherish him, warts and all, as our earthly existence can be surprisingly short and the precious relationship of Father to children – and grandchildren – is so important and doesn’t last forever.

From my own experience with my Dad and my own parenting. I continue to learn much. Continue reading

  • Rev Dr Richard Waugh is a long-time church leader in east Auckland, a former Howick Citizen-of-the-Year and absolutely committed to strong family life. He is also an Aviation Chaplain, historian, author and spokesperson for the Erebus National Memorial.
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