Sunday, 22 August 2010

A few thoughts on Dad by Brian Taylore, his son.

These are isolated and in no particular order.


Dad was a very compassionate man, always willing to help people especially those who were not well off. I discovered quite early on in life that he has been acting for people as quite a young lawyer without charging them at all or at best very little. Being a strong socialist he always wanted to help people who were not well off. He believed in equality for all people.

The first I can remember about dad was being woken up in the morning. When we were living out on the Taieri Plains (Janefield) almost on the dot of 7.00 when the horn when at the Mosgiel Wollen Mills to get everyone to come to work, dad would come into our bedrooms and literally “whistle us up!” This consisted of about 5 or 6 whistles use for calling dogs over. Not that we were ever thought of as dogs, it was his way of making our wake up fun. The trouble was it carried on into my late teens and early university days when we moved to 204 Highgate Dunedin. This was increasing more annoying after I had had a long night out on the town. Sometimes he would receive a pretty sharp response from me, however dad carried on with the practice always in good humour. I think it was more of an ongoing joke as I got older. It would also happen even when I had a friend to stay over.

Being a pragmatist, dad thought about having me baptised, but he knew he could not go along with the idea that I should be brought up in the religious belief of the Presbyterian church. He went to see the minister and asked if he would be able to modify the service so that all reference to God was eliminated, (however he always accepted the sentiments of a young person being raised as a caring compassionate person). In 1949 this was an impossible idea, so dad dropped the whole plan.

I can remember when my dear sister came on the scene. Dad loved her dearly, he was very pleased that Suzanne and I got on so well together – and still do. This was a very important part of his family thinking, people getting on well with each other and giving total support. I remember being taught this from a very early age.

I had my jobs to do at home from when I was quite young. This included keeping the hedge in front of the property trim and later the large macracarpa hedge along the south side of the property. We use to build “nesting” places in the hedge. On a few occasions we would hide in there, so that dad had to find us to come in for our evening meal. We would remain silent and dad would go along with the game, but he always knew where we were. We couldn’t fool him!

I do remember being on a strict vegetarian diet until I was 5 years old. This was my mother’s idea to overcome the asthma that I had from birth. I don’t think that dad really believed that this would work, but being dad he always kept an open mind and supported mum’s idea. Incidentally it seems as if it might have had a positive affect, I have not had asthma since.

Same thing when I was a competitive swimmer and in order to increase my size and strength mum organized for me to go to Tom Bolton’s private gym. This was always around 5.0 pm so poor old dad had to do a lot of extra running around after work to pick me up to get home. He always did it with good grace and total support.

I was a person who struggled at school. After the results of school certificate came out and it showed that I had failed. Instead of chastising me for not working hard enough (as that was the case), he simply said “If you would like to continue back at school, we will support you!” That was the greatest incentive and it stimulated me to work harder than ever. I finally got there and it was always with wonderful support from mum and dad. Nobody could ask for more.

I recall when in my first year at university I came home a bit drunk. I was creeping up the stairs when my mother called out. I though I would act as normal as possible so walked into my parant’s bedroom, turned on the light, shook them each by the hand and said good night. I turned and walked straight into the open door, almost knocking myself out. Dad got up help me into bed without a word and nothing was mentioned about the incident in the morning. I think he thought I had had punishment enough! All he had was a wry smile.

When I was training the runners I was coaching, we would spend two weeks out at Karitane (just north of Dunedin), over the Christmas – New year period. We got permission to mark out a training running track at Cherry Farm, this involved dad in calculating the length of the straits and the circumference of the curves for us so that we could scratch it out on the grass. Of course, when we were training, we needed a time keeping and who was that? Dad, of course. He never missed a day. This included taking us to the track meets on Boxing day January 2. He was always there for us, taking an interest in a sport he had never done, caring deeply about how the whole group ran - not just me. Those were great days.

Dad was a great anticipator. I remember a particular time at the funeral of my mother. We were waiting for the service to begin and I became very upset at seeing my mother’s coffin. Without looking at me dad, standing beside me, plunged his hand in his jacket pocket and pulled out a clean handkerchief, as if he knew that was exactly what would happen to me at the last minute before the service began.

1 comment:

  1. Brian and Suzanne. You should be very pleased with what you both road as it gives such a wonderful insight into another side, a very caring side, of you Dad.