Let me tell you about my Dad…
Yesterday was Father’s Day in the UK and this year it’s been 24 years since I could actually celebrate or mark this day with my father, Nick Bune. It’s also the first Father’s Day my husband has had without his own dad, Dougie Scott.
We lost my Dad suddenly in late 1997 a few days after he suffered a heart attack. He was about to start undergoing investigations into some pain he was having and then it was too late. Today he would probably have survived with a heart pace maker however it was not to be.
For all of those people out there who don’t have their dads, or a father figure any more, then I was among you yesterday. I’m married so my own children have their father but there is that sharp pain that my father and Steve’s father have gone.
My dad, Nick was a welder though he started his working life as a surface coal miner. Bright at school, he passed the 11 plus exam, but was turned down as his father’s profession (coal miner) was not considered suitable for my dad to be at grammar school. Sounds unbelievable today but it was a thing. He was a keen footballer in his day, a family man and ‘his girls’ – mum, me and sister Alison were his world.
It’s a lasting pain that he never saw me married, never met any of our children, and it’s the same for my sister. He has seven grandchildren and his first great grandchild is on the way.
Five things I learned from him:
*Be proud of who you are and where you come from. Don’t apologise ever for your ancestry – in his case, good honest working-class people who lived hard lives but good lives.
*Family is first – before anyone else, before charity, make those you love the most your top priority.
*When you make a decision stick to it – don’t dither, don’t dally, don’t keep changing your mind. Even if it’s wrong, it’s better to learn than to miss out.
*Pick your battles. Think carefully before arguing with someone. I only saw him lose his temper three times in my life and one was with me. He didn’t avoid confrontation.
*Know your boundaries – there were some times in his life when he was asked to choose and he always chose what was right to him, not what was popular. An example was, when a new man came to work at his factory and as a closed shop was told to join the union. This man said no, he had a young family and couldn’t afford it. All of the workers in the whole factory said they would ‘send him to Coventry’ and make his life a misery. My father refused to be part of it so they did the same to him and for two months at work – no one spoke to my dad or this chap unless they had to for work purposes. Later the ring-leader got cancer and, on his deathbed, asked to see my dad. My dad went. He never shared what was said to him.
Nick Bune, born in 1939, left in 1997 – and he made his ‘dash’ count.
In the picture Nick Bune, my dad, is second from left.