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MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

Sat 2nd April 2016

Jim Bagnall Died This Morning

Filed under: General — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 2:42 pm

Jim Bagnall passed away this morning after a long illness. He will be sadly missed by the many people he helped and those he campaigned with. There will be no public funeral but a dedication will be held on 29th April. FYI, Ministry of Men’s Affairs news release today:

MoMA
MINISTRY OF MEN’S AFFAIRS
MINITATANGA MO NGA TANE
A Community Group because successive governments have neglected the voice and welfare of New Zealand men

PO Box 13130, Tauranga 3141
Contact Hans Laven (07)5712435 or (0274)799745; or Kerry Bevin (021)269 8353

MEDIA RELEASE

2 April 2016

DEDICATION OF BAGNALL KNOLL

Jim Bagnall, who worked tirelessly as a McKenzie Friend assisting nearly 200 families involved in Family Court proceedings, died on 2nd April 2016 of prostate cancer and complications. Fathers’ and children’s rights advocates invite the public to meet with them at 1pm on Friday 29th April opposite the Waitakere Court to dedicate the Bagnall Knoll.

The activist was world famous in Auckland in his “Magic Bus’ that was sign-written with the “Union of Fathers’ and “Project Reunion’. He championed shared parenting for many separated families and pressed the judiciary to allow children time with both parents in the best interests of the child.

Jim Bagnall often expressed his disgust at false allegations that went untested. This alienated children from their protective fathers. The ramifications of this parental abuse created family devastation involving property disputes, child support extortion and kidnap of children by mothers and CYF, Jim Bagnall claimed shortly before his death.

He also said “Nothing had changed”, referring to failure to reform the Family Court with proper mediation and to uphold shared parenting.

A spokesman for community group the Ministry for Men’s Affairs (MoMA) said “Our Jimmy is an unsung family hero. His inspiration drives us to continue the struggle for gender equality in family policy and law”.

Contact Kerry Bevin, Ministry of Men’s Affairs, Ph (021)269 8353

38 Responses to “Jim Bagnall Died This Morning”

  1. Alastair says:

    Sympathies to all those around Jim. I wish I could be there with you. Jim was one who went first.

    Shalom Jim

  2. downunder says:

    Jim loved children.

    He had a favourite joke:

    What’s a wok?

    It’s what you fwo at a wabbit, when you haven’t got a riffle.

    Rest in peace, old friend.

  3. A dad says:

    Jim will always be remembered by me as a passionate man striving to right the wrongs that the institution had made. He listened, he showed empathy and he gave advice. For me, when I was fighting the fem court, he listened and that was what I needed.
    An unsung hero whose memory should never be forgotten.
    Rest in peace jim

  4. Mary says:

    I am Jim Bagnall’s youngest daughter.
    It’s an interesting read, the tributes.
    I wonder how many people know the real man.

    You may have thought that Jim Bagnall stood for truth and justice (Justice Jim he was known as), but to me, Jim Bagnall was a very angry man, who was a hypocrite and a liar in his own right.
    He once proclaimed to a local news paper that he had 6 kids and when splitting up with his wife he was unable to see his kids. That was a blatant lie.
    The truth was my mum left him to raise the 3 remaining children out of 5, the two oldest had left home by then. There were no custody issues at all. He had full custody.

    He used to talk about how children become the incidental casualty of bitter separations. He was disgusted at the games people played with their children against their ex partners, he even fought for mediation for families to prevent this kind of thing from happening. The irony is that my parent’s relationship ended in a very bitter divorce and both he and my mother played emotional blackmail games, made derogatory remarks about each other and, insidiously undermined each other to try to win our favour.
    The two of them made it not okay for us to love them both.
    When I challenged him about how hypocritical it was to tell other people to be mindful of their actions so as not to damage their children, when he did not actively do this himself, he said we (meaning his children) were all old enough to deal with it.
    I disagreed.
    He’d go the extra mile to tend to other people’s families, when he would not change his own behaviour to create peace for our family. He could see the big picture for other people’s families, but sadly not for his own.

    His bitterness and twisted perspective on things meant he frequently protested outside our mother’s house or if he saw her walking down the street he would attempt to shout something at her. He used his Union of fathers van (Project Reunion), with his megaphone and his music to harass her and sometimes if we were in the house, he’d harass us too. This was some 30 years after the divorce!
    Once he protested outside of my intellectually challenged brother’s house, because he was hosting Xmas and he had invited our mum. My brother cried. We felt stink for him on his big day.

    Our father’s anger spilled in to our family like a destructive sickness. He became sick in his thinking, with revenge and retaliation becoming his personal trump card. His body became consumed by his anger, in the form of a tumour the size of a tennis ball, with ulcers, and subsequently later on he developed cancer. His anger literally ate him up from the inside. The suspicion about where loyalties were laid made him push all 5 of his children, and 3 grandchildren away with a viciousness, harshness and unnaturalness that no child or children should ever feel from their own parent or grandparent.

    This was a sad and lonely end for him. No family member stood next to him and held his hand as he took his last breath. All 5 of his children regaled the stupidness and futility of his bitterness and his anger on the day of his death. Every one of us breathed a sigh of relief that he will not inflict anymore of his pain on himself and on our family.

    All we have now, to hold us are memories of our father of the time before he became consumed with his vengeance and this cause. We won’t think of him as our unsung hero; he was just a man, who got lost in his own hurt. He loved other people’s kids, but he couldn’t show love to his own. He advocated and fought for other people’s families but not for his own.

  5. Downunder says:

    @Mary newspapers aren’t allowed to print names in family court cases.

    The man with 6 kids wasn’t your father, it was me.

  6. MurrayBacon says:

    I saw Jim put huge amounts of time and his own money towards supporting fathers and quite a few mothers. I admired him for that, although I sometimes wondered if that reflected a cost somewhere else?

    Secrecy is much more dangerous for society than most people realise, as Downunder illustrated above.

    Secrecy is the refuge of scoundrels…. It has been true for a long time and it is more true today, than when it was originally said.

    It is really important that both sides, all sides of these stories are told. Too much, our lives are shattered jigsaws, where sense can be made from putting the stories together, but this may happen due to protective(for legal workers and bad doers) secrecy.

    Officially imposed secrecy is mainly a barrier to keeping relationships on track and sensible.

    The two of them made it not okay for us to love them both.

    I do see a need for mediation with common sense and heart and enough wisdom to see through mental health issues. Normal is to have at least some degree of mental health issues, particularly during relationship problems. I know that myself.

    The familycaught$ said it would do that and was able to to use its legal power and threats to strong arm more capable mediators out from doing this socially important task.

    Family, friends and honest mediators are generally so much better placed to serve families and protect children. Sure, many families have problems too, but they are still better placed than legal workers who are in for the easy money and not seen for dust when the money has been quickly consumed by them, leaving only more entrenched problems.

    An effective familycaught$ would serve as a referee, to bring in common sense and enforce it. I have seen that happen, but too often it is just wringing out money when it can, as lawyers do.

    Judge Trapski saw that need in the 1970s, but didn’t understand lawyers attitudes and behaviours and his vision was never achieved, the opposite in fact. He was a man with heart. Boshier was in the same mould too, alas.

    Thanks Mary, for speaking clearly. It must have been hard to write. You set out why timely mediation is so important. At times, all of us need some support, but too often never receive it……

    It is important for families, long before separation, after death of a child, sometimes after death of close family, times of severe work stress. Better to support, than just asset-strip families. Jim Bagnall did his best to supply what few others did, at huge cost.

    I hope that men can pick up on Mary’s challenge?
    I hope that familycaught$ can pick up on Mary’s challenge?

    I give parents the best chance, for seeing the need to protect themselves from their own weaknesses and from familycaught$.

    More than 35 years has gone by with familycaught$ and it is very little better today than when first allowed to operate. Sometimes it is even worse. It is far past time for evaluation of the quality and efficiency of its operation. Time for constructive action, which is what Jim fought for.

    Jim and a few other men put in quite a lot of time, to trying to help fellow men face life (not wanting familycaught$ to be a big issue in men’s lives). It did show how most men wanted support, but were later not willing to provide it for others. This is a very hard comment on men, but not on Jim.

    So, I hope that the best can be taken from Jim’s many examples and good lessons learned from the hard parts. He stood up and he acted. (And he liked monkeys..and arguments..)

    Action is what is most needed to protect families.

    Murray Bacon.

  7. Brian says:

    Mary, it is sad to hear your bitterness. It is also disappointing that you chose this forum to bad-mouth your father after his death. Actually it is disgusting. Many children are forced to take sides during a divorce, and coached to despise the other parent. Your complete lack of empathy and understanding for your father shows that that is obviously the case here.
    To other alienated fathers out there, don’t let Mary’s bile get to you too much. Most of us have experienced being blamed for everything that went wrong in the relationship, and accused of much more. Always guilty until proven innocent. It is especially painful when you hear your ex’s words coming from an always beloved child’s mouth. I do not know the family history, but I do know that like all fathers Jim would have loved his children deeply and with all his being. The fact that some of them ended up too brainwashed and selfish to maintain a relationship with would have been a constant source of pain and disappointment for him.
    God bless you Jim, may you finally rest in peace.

  8. Downunder says:

    Perhaps I should add to the above comment, Jim did take me to meet Mary.

  9. mantrol says:

    Sounds like Mary has some issues with her self she needs to sort out.

    Your mother is equally responsible for the pain you’re feeling.

    Honor thy mother AND father.

    BTW I’m not religious, but some of their stuff makes sense.

  10. Downunder says:

    @Mantrol if you read the last two paragraphs of Mary’s statement, you’ll see there’s no hallelujah, just a victory march.

  11. John Brett says:

    Mary- thank you for sharing your experience in this forum, especially when you could expect a hostile reception from some people.
    I am a father of four children, my marriage ended in 1990. I know Jim, and worked with him on some things, but had no knowledge of his family, or of you. I didn’t ask, and he didn’t volunteer anything.
    I was not able to commit too much emotional or physical energy to the Men’s movement, sometimes I felt I let Jim down. My priorities had to be-
    1 Being the best father I could, to my children, in the face of hostility, CYPS, Police arrest, Family Court court cases, Criminal Court cases etc.
    2 Recovering from my own issues of burn-out, grief, and depression.
    3 Rebuilding a new life for myself- Somewhere to live, some way of making money, getting a life.
    4 Getting revenge on my ex was on the ‘not to do’ list, as it gave no benefit to my family, I did not need the satisfaction. I never saw or spoke to my ex for 25 years, as nothing good could come of it.
    My ex died a few months ago- (of cancer) I only attended the funeral to support my two sons who did reluctantly attend. Neither of my daughters attended, she had no friends there, most of her relatives had been alienated. Nobody shed a tear. Someone said she had destroyed herself with her bitterness.

    Mary- be kind to yourself- let any bitterness go- and best wishes to you.

  12. Charles Bagnall says:

    I am Charles Bagnall eldest son of Jim Bagnall,
    My sister Mary’s comments are not of bitterness towards our father but an impassioned plea for people to understand that our father chose your cause over his own children and we are left with the feeling that he wanted nothing more to do with us.
    We just wanted our dad back in our lives, to love us and be there for us the same way he supported the fathers and children of other families.
    We lost our father many years before his passing this weekend and for that we are filled with sadness that we never had the chance to reconcile before his passing.
    We are left to grieve what could have been…
    It wasn’t always like that… I remember when we laughed, had great conversations and loved.
    He left me with one positive thing… never take our kids for granted, they need to feel love the whole of life as long as there is breath left in you, I am a father of 2 and they are in my care, I chose them, they are my responsibility, I’m meant to nurture them, help them grow, no matter what!
    I really hope he has inspired and impacted all the people he has helped for good and that the sacrifice of his children was not in vain.
    May he rest in peace and that all the feelings he had towards us be transcended by love.
    Charles X

  13. Downunder says:

    You children appear to be under the illusion this has something to do you with you. Like me Jim was unfortunate enough to encounter a rampant out of control secret court and realized, quite rightly that it needed to be confronted.

    You’re a bunch of self entitled brats, that don’t know how much you had, or what you chose not to respect.

    If you’re expecting sympathy for your platitudes, you most certainly won’t get it from me.

  14. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Mary and Charles, please accept my condolences.

    I am a strong believer in the value of family relationships, working relationships, active relationships. From what you both say, we agree easily on that. I saw Jim work hard to try to help others to make that happen.

    As you have said, it is sad that Jim’s life and relationships didn’t play out that way. I cannot begin to guess why. Jim certainly didn’t talk about close relationships with me.

    However, I don’t like to let positive opportunities go by. If at some point in the future, you would like to discuss that through, I would be interested to do that.

    I have felt fairly excluded from my own children’s lives at times, but certainly not totally. I do understand the territory to some extent.

    Better understanding of the things that can go on through separation could be of huge help to others facing the same in the future (including possibly our own children). It isn’t really light or enjoyable conversation, but there can be positive value. In the end, life is much more important than pain.

    So, if or when the time is right, you might give me a call on ph 6387275. I am sure I am not the only one who would say this.

    Best regards,
    Murray Bacon.

  15. John Brett says:

    Charles Bagnall- you are just one of a generation of children who have lost their father to the anti-father system. You have untypically chosen to have a family of your own.

    I trust you understand the ‘Sword of Damocles’ hanging over your head.
    At any stage, and without reason, you too could be torn from your family, served with a protection order forbidding you from contacting them in any way, over any sort of fictitious allegation.

    You may not believe this- most fathers don’t believe it until it happens to them.
    I know nothing about Jim’s family situation, nor why he felt the way he did about his family, but don’t condemn him just for your own feelings.

    He really has made a difference, that has started change in the Family Court,associated organizations, and in public opinion, that has helped hundreds of families, and that should go down in history.

  16. Man X Norton says:

    Feminist ideology, some of it initially reasonable but much of it exaggerated or dishonest, has resulted in attitudes that encourage unrealistic expectations of men and that poison both existing and separated relationships and, even more tragically, their families.

    Some men have serious pre-existing psychological problems that make their relationships difficult or impossible, and after separation those men usually have great difficulty maintaining tolerable behaviour but blame their ex, the system and even others who try to help and support them. Most other men however are endowed and flawed in normal ways but treated with intolerance and fantasy expectations, then blamed, ridiculed, abused and badmouthed following separation. Unfortunately, the institutions that have power over the lives of those men and their separated families are generally heavily biased against men, seeing them as responsible for their exes’ bad behaviour, relieving their exes of any responsibility to behave with fairness or compassion, supporting or condoning provocation, disrespect and abuse towards them by their exes, exploiting them financially to maintain their exes’ now ‘independent’ lives, arranging the benefit and child-tax systems to incentivize their exes to oppose equal shared care, expecting the fathers to live with ‘every second weekend and half the school holidays’ that essentially prevents the father from having much influence on the way those children develop and turn out. Many fathers aren’t even that lucky and instead have to endure long periods during which unfair allegations prevent them from contact with their children or subject them to humiliating supervision, or experience frequent unpleasantness, abuse or sabotage from their exes (or the exes’ new partners) when they try to see their children even under Court orders. The mothers, having primary caregiving roles and much more time with the children, are well-placed to alienate the children’s attitudes against the fathers and this commonly occurs to a greater or lesser extent.

    Many men following separation grapple with the decision about whether to keep struggling to be fathers under these circumstances of legalized violence against them, or whether instead to turn their backs as much as possible on the entire ideologically corrupt camp their exes have joined and forced their children into. At MENZ Issues, some contributors encourage fathers to hang in and keep fighting to maintain some scraps of fatherhood for their children no matter what, while others support fathers to prioritize their own mental health by avoiding unnecessary stress, leaving society as much as possible to take responsibility for the mess it created, and/or directing their anger into a political campaign for change. It’s up to each father to choose his path taking into account the particular circumstances and risks he faces.

  17. voices back from the bush says:

    @16 Man X Norton, Thank you – very much, for writing this, for those of us going through the situation you have aptly enough described it does make it a little bit easier when someone breaks things down as you have.

  18. Bruce Tichbon says:

    I held Jim in great esteem. I am amazed at the ‘eulogies’ of his two children on this blog. I have seen marriage breakdowns send good people over the edge, it seems children as well as parents can be very deeply affected. I have also seen children become estranged from parents, even without the parents marriage breaking down. I have seen adoption situations where adult children wont allow any contact with their birth parents.

    I cant judge Jim Bagnall’s situation. Was it parental alienation, warring parents, or what? Is there a grain of truth in what the children say or is it all true?

    I know from my own marriage breakdown I could have lost my young children. I had to put up with incredible indignity and humiliation to keep contact with them. I sweated it out and took the crap and now my adult children and their children are loving and civil to me. I know of adult children who, when they get old enough, have had to sort out a violent (step)parent. They did not go bleating to the so called authorities, they just sorted the guy out.

    Can I ask, did Jim’s children, once adults, tell their parents to sort it out for the sake of the family? Or get the parents to at least ignore each other? Is it too much to ask of the parties to realise much of the problem comes from a system that sets the parents against each other, not just the parents themselves?

    Rest in peace Jim, you did such great work for others. I would like to ask Jim if it was the pain of his own family that drove him to do so much for others? Too late now. For myself, I will remember the best of Jim, and hope others carry on his positive legacy.

  19. julie says:

    I knew you would write something for Jim and others. Well done and thank you.

    Jim was a best friend to activists and advocates and I feel fortunate to have been in his life. Almost every day, he spoke to us by phone and he shared his time enriching us as well as working with us.

    “¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦”¦personally”¦”¦”¦”¦.

    Jim and I had our favourite coffee shop that we frequented to discuss cases we picked up from weekly single parent support meetings and designed a workshop that we ran. Jim’s assistance, especially for fathers was invaluable though he also helped mothers.

    Jim’s work was important and he dissected the process of separation and effect on parents. He turned his ideas into graphics and made books.

    I still want to continue the workshops which he let me call, ‘Know thyself’. They are very empowering, imo and I sure have funny moments to share.

    Anyways, besides Jim’s cleverness, artistic flare, and incredible passion, he was a complicated man, imo. I can see Jim doing the things Mary says and with his cheeky grin. Jim encouraged people to use ‘humour’ as a tool to cope and survive the damage and I don’t consider Jim a hypocrite. Instead, I think his family’s loss was my family’s gain and Jim helped soooo much.

    I am really sad Jim has left us.
    Yet, I am happy that Jim achieved doing ‘his life his own way’ and right to the end. That was really important to him.

    See ya all on Thursday.

  20. julie says:

    We are seeing kids act like Jim’s kids, A LOT, these days.

    When the dads die, kids come from god knows where (close, far, overseas) to seek “What’s in it for me?”

    They argue and ruin all of the funeral processes, then as quick as they come, they leave. They sell everything and fight over who gets what.

    Not once nice word is said about dad. Not even child support is mentioned.

  21. John Brett says:

    Dear Julie- you might have been surprised at my ex’s funeral late last year.

    I had not spoken to the woman for 25 years- I only went to the funeral because my oldest son asked me to. Nether of my daughters attended, most of her relatives had been alienated, and didn’t attend.
    She didn’t seem to have any friends.
    I have seen more tears at the burial of a pet rat. There was one cheap bunch of flowers, such as you can buy at a Garage.
    I ended up being a pall-bearer at the cemetery because there was no-one else.
    She left nothing, my oldest son took her belongings and furniture to the Salvation Army, my younger son paid for the funeral and no-one else wants to contribute.

    It seems sad for someone to have a circle of brothers, sisters, and partners and family, raised a family,have grandchildren, and to have alienated everyone in her life to such an extent.

    Kicking me out was the best (and only) Father’s day present I ever had-someone said to me that she had killed herself with her own bitterness.

    Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold.

  22. Bruce Tichbon says:

    Julie,

    Your comments about kids and funerals are all too true and disturbing. In commenting Im not implying fault on the part of Jim’s children.

    Funerals, wills, matrimonial property are another extension of the family law mess that has been created. I more than suspect the same people who created the diabolical mess with custody, access, and family court have been at work here as well.

    The Family Protection Act (should it be called the Family Destruction Act?) lets near everyone have a claim and potentially overturn wills. Add in the Property Relationships Act and it gets worse still.

    The idea of strong secure families was abandoned decades ago. Then the state was captured by this ideological agenda, and it has been written into our laws. We are all wearing the consequences of this diabolical agenda.

  23. julie says:

    John Brett,

    Dear Julie- you might have been surprised at my ex’s funeral late last year

    Oh no. How sad. I didn’t know.

    I got to know your ex over the years you have been writing on menz. I liked her and I understand how family members are affected by the damage.

    EVERYONE is hurt by the actions of each …. Jim was hurt, his children were hurt, you were hurt, your ex was hurt. The most difficult part was building a bridge to each other and if there is a lesson in all this to take away, it’s, “Do your best for you don’t have forever. At least, when you do your best, you can’t regret”.

  24. julie says:

    Bruce, thank you for adding information. I hear what you say and agree.

    We still have a lot of work to do and Jim definitely has a legacy. 🙂

  25. Downunder says:

    We’re all hurt, are we Julie?

    And we need you.

    Some of us are a bit bigger than that and know how to pick our arse up, when it gets kicked.

    And we did.

  26. julie says:

    Oh, Dear John Brett, I hope you remember I had told you that your ex reached out to me. It happens because I can be contacted.

    Anyways, always I am sincere to our cause and us. I have heard a bit of what you are up to and hope we can catch up on Thursday so I hear more. 🙂

  27. julie says:

    Downunder,

    Funny. I am not offering you anything more than some funny stories about Jim on Thursday.

    But, perhaps I won’t come. Not if I have to put up with crap.

  28. Downunder says:

    How much hurt you have is your problem, but don’t start telling us were all hurt men.

    Especially Jim, because that’s what you just did.

  29. John Brett says:

    Dear Julie- I do hope to see you on Thursday. I will be interested to talk to you, about many things. Cheers, John

  30. Downunder says:

    If Jim was hurt, maybe it was when he was a child, sitting in a bomb shelter, listening to NAZI bombs raining down above.

    Who decides when someone is hurt, or they’re the best they can be?

    Think about that.

  31. Allan Harvey says:

    My sympathy and thoughts for Jim’s children and grandchildren.
    Mary and Charles many of us can be better dads. None of us are perfect dads.
    I am pleased you have some good memories of Jim. Hold onto those.
    Allan

  32. Alok says:

    In honour of The Great Jim Bagnall
    a selfless fighter for many fathers and some mothers done unjust by the family court system and ex’s.

    Will miss your enthusiasm and knowledge – thank you so much for your help. You will be sorely missed by us all.

  33. brent says:

    Jim Bagnall A wonderful selfless man whom I shall always remember for his support in obtaining shared care of my son back in 2009. We had some magic times and some funny times protesting outside the family court in Albert street.

    My advice to fathers, is NEVER, NEVER, ever give-up! There was a very good turn out on Thursday and proud to be a part of the history that was Jim Bagnall. Rest in Peace, your presence has been well received among us.

    Brent Matches

  34. brent says:

    Wow, MARY

    Having seen you again Mary at the funeral, you did not acknowledge me as I did you and yet I spent 5 weeks at xmas 2014 cleaning up your fathers property and never once did you speak to me, however I had many a cups of tea with the neighbour and I can say that without reservation I had a bloody good idea of what went on. To dish your father when he provided freely a roof over your head for how long? I would give the skin of my back to show support for him, and I witnessed very strange behaviour on your part whilst there but will say nothing here. God bless ya JIM!

  35. MurrayBacon says:

    I strongly support Bruce Tichbon’s comments above #18, for including many angles. Children are easily influenced and encouraged to keep asking for more and more. Eventually no must be said. Then, anything goes.

    Child Support is family irresponsible, as the silent transfers of money allow the receiver to deny their existence to the children. Then come the complaints, you don’t give anything to our family. Or the argument that child support transfers don’t count, as I would get that much on the benefit anyway……

    I have felt that quite a bit and it seems that Jim Bagnall had some of this too? Maybe a hundred thousand or three men have felt this? (And quite a few women too.)

    Sure this problem only shows up when the receiver is greedy and selfish – but sometimes this does happen in the real world. Then you have a recipe for destructive parenting – which doesn’t serve children at all. Did the familycaught$ ever play a helpful role in these tensions? I never saw them help, except by rubbing in salt. To me, that illustrates their value.

    So, what is the main aim of “family law”?

  36. Mary says:

    Wow! Brent. If I did meet you, it would have been around 15years ago, when I was speaking to my father and I did meet members of the Menz movement. The person you might be referring to is my sister Clare.
    When Clare was 4 she developed a disease called encephalitis. As a result of the disease and the overdose in medication, Clare suffered from large epileptic seizures and incurred some brain damage. An incredibly smart human being with a wonderful sense humour and a bent for puns, Clare sees the world quite differently from everyone else. Sometimes Clare can get quite fixed ideas in her mind about things and she is quite child like in dealing with her feelings and her thoughts. Often she’ll come to an assessment of you or what you are doing and just tell you to your face. It can be quite brutal and funny, mostly it annoys the heck out of people.
    Clare did live in the family home up until the end of the year, around September; I think she may have been rude to you.
    Clare did pay rent there, a small amount, but then you would have seen the house and its disrepair, oh and the rats and the cockroaches. Ew.
    Despite the house’s ugliness, Clare was very protective of her space; we all understood how important it was to her, (I shared a tiny room with her when we were little) the house was her sanctuary from the world, a place where she is free to be completely herself. She worked very hard trying to keep the jungle down at the back.
    Clare helped my father clear all of his horded things out into a skip. When I say helped she did it all by herself.
    My father never bothered to tell her about the things he was going to get people to do on the house, which annoyed her immensely, mostly because she was paying rent and all the bills of the house. She was also trying to maintain it. Our father kicked her out of the home she’d known and loved all of her life, because she had been rude to his friends helping out at the house. I believe he may have been intending to do that eventually upon the sale of the house.

    After she did move out, they met up for coffee and he gave her an ultimatum that she choose between her mother or him. Understandably she didn’t know what to do and in her child like state, it distressed her hugely that she had to make that choice. She loves them both and still does. It sickens me to think of her struggling there, with that!

    Sometime after that she heard his illness had taken a turn for the worse and she went to the old people’s home to see him, to say good-bye or be with him. He got angry when she came in and asked her to leave. She went home crying. It upsets me that she loved him so much and that she had to feel that kind of rejection. She did not deserve it in any way shape or form.

    Brent if my sister behaved strangely to you, that’s why. The neighbour on the right really hated my dad; they had boundary issues, ha ha ha. She was either plying you for information to gossip with or trying to encourage you to fix the eyesore next door. My brothers Murray and Mata were at the funeral as well, along with my son Matthew, who was one of two members of the family who was speaking to him before he died, the other one was his 5year old son. Thank you to those people who made the day possible and to the people who supported my family on that day. They all needed to see him and speak about him to make his end more real.

    It was a test for my son to see some of my sibling’s anger as the commendations rang out for him, so they all had to rein themselves in on the day. Ha ha ha The event wasn’t on National news, so I’m figuring it must of gone okay.
    I did speak to Matthew after the farewell via phone; he was overwhelmed by the well wishers and as I said the siblings reactions.

    I explained to him that his Aunt and Uncle’s experiences with his granddad were different to his own, it was important that he accept that that was our truth and our experiences and our reality. It wasn’t his reality and he knows he is free to love his Grandad how he wants to, and I will love him and support him in that.

    There were different sides to my father that people knew of, or didn’t know. He was not a patron saint for his own children or his own family. Ha ha ha Not by a long shot. An egotistical martyr, a Jesus Christ wanna be. Maybe. 🙂

    To my knowledge, he never had any issues with the family court; custody and access was granted fully to him. We visited our mum on the weekends.
    He did have issue with my mum taking half his assets and with her being a general nutcase and beearch to him. Fair enough too, I would of as well.
    We are a generally a family who speak our mind and stand up for what we believe in.
    I know our mum always knew how we felt about her behaviour and her words about our father. I know he also knew our thoughts about him and his actions.

    My father became part of the menz movement after he was forced by the court to do an anger management course. This was in relation to him stalking some other poor woman who no longer requited his love. He was so angry he told my friends and other family members he fantasised about running her over. He stalked her for many years after the course had finished, even when she had found a new partner and had had children. I found this disgusting and sick, and told him so.

    This anger he had in him drove him and moved him to help people, but it also moved him to alienate and obliterate people too. He was a sensitive person who felt things deeply, which allowed him to empathise intensely with others, but it also made him take slight too easily, then he’d push people away without fully understanding what they meant.

    To be honest, and I have been, I don’t begrudge anyone who was helped by him, I’m glad he used some of his energy for good, real, life changing good. I think he did leave behind legacies to make a difference to the world. The work he did with the family court and the men and woman, who he worked with, affected change for themselves and others, including his grandson having custody of his great grandson. At least you guys used your energy and you did something! There are lots of other things that can still be changed.

    My family also is my father’s legacy; we don’t see him through rose tinted glasses and wouldn’t want anyone else to either.
    Let’s keep it real. He left a wonderful example of what you’d want to do to affect positive change for families and he also left an abysmal example of how to treat your own family if you still want to have relationships with them.

    If you’re a parent, going through a separation or divorce always consider the collateral damage of your children at that time and the years after that. Both of you are responsible for what you say and do. Unless the other partner is causing serious harm to your child or children, keep it Okay for them to be in both your lives, let them love you both. Respect the importance of being loved by both parents, even if you think your ex was the worse person you could have possibly chosen to have kids with. You chose them. 🙂 Parental alienation sucks.

    If you have mental health issues or you need to talk to someone, talk to friends or seek professional help. Break ups can be a volatile and emotional time at the best of times without having extreme emotional swings going on. Remember your kids are your natural and nurtured legacy. Be the best person and the best parent you can be, Brent you are right in one thing, and I said it to my son about his son. Never, Never, give up on your children, they are worth fighting for, love them, and show them they are always loved.

  37. MurrayBacon says:

    Dear Mary, thank you for your careful and detailed comments. I hope that the lessons that might be learned can be learned by fathers (and if appropriate mothers too), even in times of dire stress.

    We sure do need to be more effective at helping families to resolve disputes and care well for all of the children. Openness and bluntness are an important part of that. Thanks again and best wishes,
    Murray Bacon.

  38. brent says:

    I agree Murray and I wish Mary and her family all the best for the future and you are very perceptive about the neighbour. Thanks for your well meaning comments. Jim was a fantastic support to many and I loved wracking up those judges.

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