Tribute to Dad
We celebrate a man today
A hero in our hearts
The love of our lives, the warmest of souls
A contagious wicked laugh
That fireman with the golden voice
That was Earl our Dad
He fought fires, he ran the crews
Brave, caring, saving injured, consoling the sad
The charming Richard Gere look alike
Who loved music the Big O, Whispering Jack, Adele and so many more
Would love a family get together
And lead Irene on the dance floor
That family man with us 4 kids
Donna, Julie, Darren and Caroline
Brought us up with fun and love
And we turned out mighty fine
Thank you Dad for loving our kids
11 in all I am told
And treating them as special as your own
Telling them jokes that will never grow old
You are the newest star in our sky
Death will not do us part
Even though you had to leave this world
You are forever in our hearts.
“I met Earl when I was 16 years old and we are soul mates forever. We had some hard times and some wonderful times together. Our beautiful children and grandchildren brought so much joy to our life and we are so very proud of you all. Earl loved being a fireman and the mates he worked with, Earl was the love of my life.”
Some key dates:
Dad was born on 24th September 1942, in Waratah Newcastle to Laurie and Betty and one of 5 siblings – Dawn, Elaine, Earl, Laurence and Gary. He spent most of his childhood with his Grandparents Mar and Popin the Upper Horton at Barraba.
Mum and Dad met at the Dept of Social Services in Carrington St Wynyard in 1963. He asked Mum out on 31 August to an engagement party, but Mum said they were a snobby lot so Dad asked her out again the next week to a movie which turned out to be a horror movie and Mum wasn’t impressed about that, but she must have been somewhat impressed as they were engaged 5th May 1964 and married on the 12th September 1964. Then came us kids.
Another key date was when Dad joined the fire brigade. He was accepted in when he turned 21.
09:02 (13 hours ago)
Sir Earl the Great
Any man can be a father but only a truly special man can be an extraordinary dad and that was our dad.
Dad could talk to anyone and frequently did! If he said he was going to give someone a quick call you knew that meant at least an hour. He definitely had the gift of the gab!
He had a strong heart and a big heart, nothing was ever too much trouble for his family and friends.
He had a wicked sense of humour and was always playing practical jokes sometimes forgetting to let people in on them way after he should have. He cheekily told people that I do pole dancing to get a reaction even though he knew it was Jazzercise. I’m not sure which he enjoyed more, other people’s reaction or mine!
If you can think of a stronger word for stubborn he was that and some! He and I would argue over who was paying for coffee and poor mum would get stuck in the middle. Warren used to refer to dad and I as” the irresistible force versus the immovable object” and would tell people to sit back and enjoy the show!
Dad loved many things but he especially loved mum. He told one of the staff at Tomaree Hospital that she was the love of his life and she was. He and mum set us such a beautiful example and taught us how to love and always to be fair.
The world has lost a bright star and we have lost a piece of our heart.
There are very few people in life that can leave such an imprint on your soul as my Dad has to me and to all that know him.
His smile, his laugh, his kindness, his generosity, his humbleness, his ability to enjoy every moment together, his unconditional love and support makes me so so proud and fortunate to be his daughter. You truly are my hero.
Dad I will miss our custard tarts and vanilla slices together, our trips away together, our time and chats together.
I will really really miss seeing you with Mum, Keeley and Oscar drawing, reading, singing and having fun together such happy times. I will miss watching you and Pete solving projects together and laughing at inappropriate things forming such a beautiful bond of friendship that warms my heart, I will treasure all those precious moments forever.
Thank you Dad, that you and Mum have make our family so extraordinary, full of so much love and support for each other.
Dad you will forever be in my/our hearts never forgotten love your baby girl Caroline xoxo
Dad, what a wonderful amazing Dad you have been! So many memories it is hard to know which ones to choose!
My early memories are of you coming home in your firefighting gear, smelling like smoke, bringing us treats like a box of smarties that we would divide evenly or unevenly (if Donna did it) amongst us. Sometimes you would bring me drawings home. You taught me how to draw. And remember the times you would get me to scratch your back and comb your hair Roger Moore style.
Dad you always told the best stories about growing up in the bush with Mar and Pop. Like when you were at school and you had turns hitting the hornets’ nest with a broom and running away. Only when it came to your turn you whacked the nest and the teacher called out “Earl” and you stopped and suffered multiple hornet stings.
You told me how you were a pretty good winger and sprinter, but the country footy fellas would target you and rough you up a bit, so you worked out you could tackle them on the rough hard clay patches on the field as payback and that slowed them down.
Dad had a love for taking us on Sunday drives, joining in dancing and singing with us in the loungeroom to records, taking us on holidays each year and somehow coercing us into swimming at the beach in winter as that was the only time he could get holidays and we needed to make the most of our holidays he said.
Over the years, Dad was there to see me graduate uni, get my first job, to walk me up the aisle to give me away to Steve, to hold our babies Samuel and Reuben in his arms proudly with Mum
After Steve’s Dad died early, Steve adopted my Dad as his father and mentor. He knew Dad the same number of years as his own father. Dad had a sweet tooth and taught my boys to put far too much sugar on their breakfast cereal which he called “snow on the mountains”.
I loved the way he loved Mum and the way he would make everyone feel special with a warm joke or kind gesture.
You are a fair dinkum legend Dad. I will always love you.
And now a tribute from Darren …
As his only son, my relationship with Dad was different of course to that of my sisters.
A loving and caring father who liked to describe himself as hard but fair and a good mate in latter years. If Dad threatened to give us a kick in the behind, with his big fire brigade boots and his firm authoritative voice, us McGinty kids were all sure to do as we were told.
I have memories back to my pre-school years of Dad arriving home from work dressed in his uniform with big fire brigade boots. I was always proud to tell my friends what my father did as a job. It was more than just a job though. Dad’s passion for his work evident in the many stories he relayed. He was a very good story teller and would have both children and adults alike fascinated for hours.
For a number of years Dad had to do 2 and 3 jobs to ensure that we were well provided for.
He said in latter years that he wished he could have spent more time with us growing up.
He need not have worried as he was very giving of his time and got to spend more time doing things with us with time. His imagination and creativity would often turn mundane chores into fun.
An example of this was that when mowing the grass in the backyard he would create a path for our bikes to ride on. Mum would sometimes wonder about his sanity including a time when he Kung Fu
kicked down on the old shed in our backyard sound effects included.
After a hot summer’s day in our Woodpark home, if a thunderstorm was building, Dad and I would sit out on the front verandah and watch the storms as they would pass overhead. He would explain to me how to read where a thunderstorm would move and if hail was coming.
When we moved to Port Macquarie for Dad’s compulsory country duty as the Station Officer in charge. The fun times and adventure continued. The Fire Station was to me an amazing magical place as a young boy and our family became good friends with other families of the fire brigade.
The Sunday drives continued as we explored a part of our new world.
When we moved back to Sydney, Dad ensured that on my first day at my new school that I had someone in the playground to show me where things were. That boy was Mark who became my best mate throughout high school and beyond.
In my high school years I still recall trying to do homework whilst Dad and Mum were watching the state of origin. Dad and Mum raising their voices against the referee and Dad drumming loudly on the wall and floor with his feet when NSW scored a try when State of Origin was on. I would give up and join them instead.
It wasn’t just sport we would watch. I would sit down and watch the news religiously with Dad. His love of nature and history along with Mum as we would watching documentaries as a family. He instilled in me that you never stop learning.
“You get the best view on tv” he would say but I felt I had to check and explore the amazing world around us for myself, particularly when I the opportunity to travel the world later with my beautiful wife.
When the grandkids came along Dad became their Poppy Chief. He was so proud of them all.
My children Madeline, Nicholas and Lucas always looked forward to the heartwarming creativity and crazy antics that Pop provided. As the grew older Pop was always there to talk to them and provide guidance.
Dad warmly welcomed my wife Lee and her 2 boys Matt and James into our family.
Dad asked if okay with Matt and James if they could call him Pop which they gladly accepted. 9 Grandkids became 11 as the McGinty clan got bigger. They have all gotten along together so well. He loved all his grandkids and was so proud of them too.
Dad and I would continue to keep in touch by phone when we were not visiting each other.
Often it would be to discuss not just family affairs but current affairs. Discussing politics, sport and solving the world’s problems.
I will miss my Dad a hell of a lot but I do understand that his spirit will live on through family, friends and many he has touched in his life. He will continue on as a guardian angel for us. I like to think he will be present in every approaching thunderstorm.
He was not just a Dad but a good mate, generous man and amazing role model.