Yesterday (June 21) was Fathers Day, a day globally set aside to recognise the immense role our fathers play in keeping body and soul together within the family unit and by extension outside the family unit.
The idea is also to highlight the influence that our fathers have on society.
As we celebrate and honour our fathers who keep challenging and encouraging us to do better all the time, we do hope that this does not only become an event but a process in which the contribution of fathers in guiding the home will be appreciated and acknowledged.
We therefore wish to salute and celebrate all fathers and father figures for the various roles they play in bringing up and nurturing their children and wards to become responsible and productive adults.
While we are at it, we also want to recognise and appreciate all uncles and brothers, as well as other close male relations of children, in helping to protect and guide them to ensure they are safe and on the right course.
To big brothers and even sometimes, younger brothers, especially where the father is no more, who have become more or less the fathers to their siblings, doing their best to protect them, we urge you on.
This no doubt is a tough job which requires a lot of commitment, sacrifice and a never-give-up spirit to go through.
As we acknowledge the extent to which fathers go and the efforts they put in, even at the expense of their own lives, in contributing to the socio-economic development of their societies, educating their children and making sure there is food on the table and in the house, we at the Daily Graphic will like to salute our gallant fathers.
Particularly, in this COVID-19 era, when the whole world is doing its best to protect the people, individual homes and families, especially heads, in this case fathers, have a multiple task of ensuring that their household is safe and secure from the scourge.
This year, however, because of COVID-19, events and observances associated with the day haven’t been as usual as they should, as there has been the need to observe social distancing.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that we cannot pay for what our fathers do in our lives, but showing some love, appreciation and care, especially to recognise their role and more particularly, during their old age is equally very important.
As the saying goes, “If your parents have taken care of you to grow your teeth, you also take care of them till the point when they lose their teeth”, and we of the Daily Graphic couldn’t have agreed more.
The Daily Graphic has learned that it was Grace Golden Clayton who had asked her pastor, Dr R. Thomas Webb, if a Sunday service could be held to honour her father.
We also observed that although it was the first service known to honour fathers, it was not widely promoted, until June 19, 1910, which was the third Sunday in June, that it was observed and became established when Mrs Sonora Smart Dodd proposed to the Spokane Ministerial Association and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) that they celebrate Fathers Day.
The paper also learns that in countries such as Spain, Italy and Portugal, Fathers Day is celebrated on March 19, which is the Feast of St. Joseph, who is the patron saint of fathers.
In Germany, Fathers Day is celebrated on the same date as Ascension Day.
Across Scandinavia, the tradition of a Fathers Day was adopted in the 1930s. Originally the American date was used, but in 1949 the Nordic countries decided to move it to the second Sunday in November.
In the USA, the first noted Fathers Day celebration was held on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia.
Though marked on different days, the activities are similar and presents vary.
The Daily Graphic appreciates the fact that people may be busy or may not be living in the same vicinity, community or countries with their parents.
However, we wish to urge all to find that special time to celebrate our fathers now that they are not weak and can enjoy a kebab with some nice wine or wear a beautiful shirt to church, and not wait when it’s too late to say that we were planning their major birthdays.
We also encourage children or relations who have issues with fathers or father figures, to use the occasion to resolve those differences and put all that behind them and start afresh. Congratulations to all our gallant fathers. Continue to stay immeasurable, safe and blessed.