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Sunday, 19 June 2011

Fathers Day

Today is Fathers Day, so congratulations to all the Fathers out there.

Today at church all the men and boys got a special little gift. Attached to the bar of chocolate and sachet of NESCAFE Cappuccino coffee powder was a card with two Bible verses. Each man or boy got a different set of verses.

I would like to dedicate these verses to my Father: Andries, Stephanus, Eksteen, Marais. 1919 - 2001.

These two verses typify the kind of man he was, a loving husband and caring father who walked before the Lord all his life.

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him. Psalm 103:13.

My father had compassion on his children and he feared the LORD.

The steps of a good man are ordered of the LORD and He delights in his way. Psalm 37:23.
 My father in his South African Air Force uniform. He served from the start of World War II, August 1939 to June 1945. Seeing active duty in North Africa, Ethiopia, Egypt & Libya. After the invasion of Italy his squadron, 31st Heavy Bomber squadron, SAAF, equipped with Liberator Bombers, was stationed at Foggia. My father was an air mechanic, part of the ground crew. The squadron flew mission over Eastern Europe from Foggia. After one mission over Warsaw only one plane returned, all the others were shot down, of the planes shot down, only one pilot of returned alive. This mission was the called the Warsaw Concerto.

 My father never spoke much about his war time experiences. He did say that it was one of the saddest moments of his life when he realised that the plane he worked on, and the crew who were his mates, would never return.

The bombers were soon replaced with new planes, and crewed by American and Canadian pilots and crews until replacement South African pilots and crews arrived.

The squadron shared the air base there with several American Air Force units, including an American Negro Fighter squadron. He said they were brave men who knew no fear, the squadron liked to have this fighter squadron escort them on missions.

After VE day he volunteered for service in the Far East, but the Atom Bomb was dropped on Japan before he got there. All South African service men in World War II were volunteers.

The best thing a father can do for his children is love their mother. (Quote).,

The love of his life, Rosemary, Daphne, Marais (Nee Kapp) 1927 - 2002. My father served in the same squadron as his father in law to be, that's how he met my mother. This photo was taken when my mother was about 17, (1944).

There is no greater blessing for a child than a good and loving father! 

Thank you Dad.


Gorges Smythe said...

Bless you, Philip.

Living In Williamsburg Virginia said...

Fantastic Father's Day tribute and good verses to bring to mind.

Darryl and Ruth :)

Desiree said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Father, Phillip.This brought a tear to my eye! As I follow both your and Jo's blogs it was even more poignant to hear about your much-loved parents.
I hope you had a very good day :)
Big hug,
Des xoxo

Jo said...

Oh Phillip, what a fitting tribute to our wonderful father. Definitely brought a lump to my throat reading about Daddy's life and seeing Mommy at the end was very special too. Blessings and love, Jo xxx

Kay L. Davies said...

Such a wonderful tribute to your father, my friend. He must have been a very good man and a good father. I can see why he loved your mother... I think Jo has her smile.
Thank you for sharing this with us.
Most sincerely— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Rosemary said...

Beautiful tribute Phil. Daddy and mommy were great people - they were a great example to us as their children!
love Rosemary xox