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Happy fathers’ day.

Filed under: General — Darryl Ward @ 5:16 pm Sun 3rd September 2006

Many of you who read this will be fathers and you will be spending some or all of today with your children. This is a day to celebrate your role, a role that all too often is not only overlooked and underestimated, but undermined and maligned.

This is a day for all of you to be thanked for all that you have done for your children, whether it was sacrificing precious time (that you would rather have spent with them) working to ensure that there was bread on the table, or spending a weekend building a doll’s house.

This day is for all fathers.

This day is to dispel the negative and terribly wrong stereotypes surrounding fathers.

This day is to remember that children need love and care from both their mothers and their fathers.

This day is to acknowledge the selfless love and sacrifice of our own fathers.

For some of you though, this will not be a happy day, for you will not have any contact with your children. All you will have is a cherished memory, a dog-eared photograph, or perhaps a three-year old card, handwritten in crayon with bad spelling, which is now stained with tears.

If you are a father and this day overwhelms you with sadness, remember that even though they cannot be with you, your children will still be thinking of you on this very special day.

If you are a father, have a happy fathers’ day. You deserve it.

If you are not a father, please pass this on to someone who is…. maybe your own father.

Happy fathers’ day.

Darryl Ward

3 September 2006


  1. Welcome to MENZ Darryl.

    For those of you who don’t know him, Darryl has been a stalwart men’s and family advocate in NZ since the days when the Men’s Movement numbered only a few dozen blokes. Try his name in the search box at top, right for more info on Darryl…

    I hope we’ll read more from you!

    I’ve had a very pleasant Father’s Day, I received this hand-made card from my daughter Judith:

    [click to see full size]

    Comment by JohnP — Sun 3rd September 2006 @ 6:23 pm

  2. Let’s be a little more realistic. Chances are people on this site will not have seen or heard from their children today. More likely don’t want to be reminded that they ever had children, and are probably wondering why the even bothered staying here. You can bet your bottom dollar it wasn’t a retail success, and it probably didn’t even rate a mention in most schools last week. Reality is Fathers lost their significance in this country 20 years ago and the trend is still down hill, and likely to remain that way beyond our life time.

    Comment by Bevan Berg — Sun 3rd September 2006 @ 7:39 pm

  3. Hi Bevan

    I have two comments.

    Firstly, my message was sent far and wide. Many who were sent it are lucky enough to still be part of their children’s lives.

    I also sent it to politicians and many other decision makers to help drive the point home.

    Secondly, I really don’t think that those who “don’t want to be reminded that they ever had children” are very likely to be on this forum.

    However, I really do appreciate the feedback.

    Kind regards


    Comment by Darryl Ward — Sun 3rd September 2006 @ 7:49 pm

  4. Thanks for your message Darryl and for thinking of dad’s like me whose kids are not with them today. I doubt that my little boy will have thought of me today because it’s not Father’s day where he is (Canada), and because he’s only 17 months old and he’s seen so little of me in his short life that I don’t think he’s really grasped the concept of ‘papa’. But I thought of him of course as I do nany times every day, and always will even if, God forbid, we are somehow driven permanently apart.

    Comment by PaulM — Sun 3rd September 2006 @ 9:32 pm

  5. Thanks for the message Darryl.
    I haven’t heard from my son in years. He like many others got swallowed up in the great femhysterics of the 80s and 90s. Too bad. But as James K Baxter was fond of saying – life is full of compensations. In my case there’s lots I’ve experienced that simply wouldn’t have happened had I been allowed to be the involved father I wanted to be.
    And so my message to fathers who like myself got shafted with Femily Caught ballbusting, lying vex-partners and widespread femhate and who no longer have contact with their kids is do what I now do.
    Never forget you’re a Dad.
    Never forget you’re a great Dad, despite ideological morons trying to tell you otherwise.
    Look for the advantages of not being on father duty and live life to the fullest.
    Prepare yourself for the day when the chickens come home to roost – your kid/s will surely want to know you again one day – if nothing else for the simple reason that they’ll NEVER truly know themselves until they know you.
    (As a younger man I was arrogant enough not to believe this truism, then when I got to know my father better, lots of things about my personality simply fell into place. The ensuing sense of calm self acceptance was palpable).

    Although I agree with Bevan that fathers lost thier significance 20 odd years ago, I see that what you’re doing is attempting to rebuild the much maligned image of fatherhood that men let get that way either through their ignorance of it being bashed or their she’ll be right mate type apathy.

    I’ll bet that with the release soon of the male birth control pill fatherhood will become a hot issue, which will result in fathers finally being valued more (and not just as walking paychecks either) as generally scarce things are always more valued.
    Hence with men being able to switch thier fertility off as easily as women it’s value will increase.
    Unless that is the demand for male fertility declines. Common sense says that’s a societal dead end and won’t happen.
    Hang on guys.
    The endgame is coming
    (No pun intended!)

    Comment by Stephen — Sun 3rd September 2006 @ 10:50 pm

  6. Hi Darryl,

    I heard of a group (Saturday) that visited parliament with crosses that had the names of fathers that had died through suicide from the bad treatment they got through the family court and pain from losing their children. I had hoped it was on TV1 and TV3 news but it was only on Prime. However there were hundreds of men, women and children there. (from the discription I was given) I don’t think anyone forgets that they are a father and I thought it was awesome that the fathers were not forgotton.

    I also want to tell you that I like the information on your website particurlarly that you involve ethics into communication and service to the public. It horrifies me that we are living in times where people find lying, cheating and selfishness acceptable behaviour.

    But I know how difficult it is to keep to ethics for people that are not living at home, work and in their social lives as if they were church ministers.

    And I have seen the faces of people let down and how they throw in the towel because the person who they trusted as a leader fell down themselves.

    It is hard to expect people (especially the young) to understand that the words are still truth when the person speaking them is not able to live up to them.

    The consequenses are just more out of control young people as they distrust the adults. No wonder we have so many riots world wide. I hate to think what young people like my own children think about all this. I should ask them.

    I also think we live in a world where we are giving so many opportunites of freedom to young people and that the young people are watching our actions rather than listening to our words.

    Anyhow I look forward to learning some more. It is easier to read someone’s research on a website that reading a whole book.

    Comment by julie — Mon 4th September 2006 @ 9:47 am

  7. Nice one their darryl.I can see both sides of the coin;where one keeps battling for their kids ;but can also understand the poor dads that have had the shit beaten out of them and realised that in some situations ;the whole thing can be a folly and that your ex gets 90% of the time with your kids and can easily brainwash/influence them way more than you have a show to;and that you can win the battle but lose the war.Resulting in the desire to give in and accept the Sunday Father syndrome.But we must keep on keeping on in some form to maintain our psyche.Good on ya ;dads.

    Comment by keith — Mon 4th September 2006 @ 2:04 pm

  8. Darryl,
    I’ve been trying to figure out why your homily to Fathers Day just made me angry. I think your comments are syruppy sweet, dream stuff, wishful thinking and don’t reflect hard reality for very many men and therefore leaves the dispossessed feeling even worse. (i.e. I don’t have those warm feelings about fathers’ day so I’m deficient in that too.)
    How about coming out of dreamtime and acknowleding that many fathers ARE forgotten. That the very word “fathers” brings up associated thoughts for the most, including fathers, of “violent, abusers, philanderers, thicko’s, useless, second class”. Yes for most of society that’s what father means. Get real. Your sweet paintover job won’t change that one iota.
    Also your reply: “I really don’t think that those who “don’t want to be reminded that they ever had children” are very likely to be on this forum” suggests to me that you have never been in that space that is sp painful that it takes day to day denial of one’s fatherhood to keep alive (or you have forgotten).

    Comment by epres — Mon 4th September 2006 @ 3:12 pm

  9. Hi “epres”.

    My message was not written for this website.

    My message was for ALL fathers, and not just those who have lost their children.

    It was posted to this website as an afterthought.

    Certainly I do acknowledge that I was lucky to have both my children with me yesterday.

    After all, I too have been in the position of having had my (then) only child denied ANY time with me, and I will never ever forget the pain.

    Comment by Darryl Ward — Mon 4th September 2006 @ 3:21 pm

  10. I too heard not a word from my children yesterday.
    My ‘other’ kids, however, whom I regularly have in my care, whom I saw on Saturday night, were very keen for me to stay the night at their place. I couldn’t, but I did get a ‘happy father’s day’ from them nonetheless.
    Shame my own child isn’t allowed to be with me, whereas other children are, who do think enough of me to wish me HFD.
    Why is the system so screwed up, and why can’t an embittered mother not take just two minutes to encourage little Johnny and Janey to pick up the phone?

    Comment by Al D Rado — Mon 4th September 2006 @ 6:39 pm

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