My Dad turns 80 tomorrow, and today we had a party for him to celebrate 8 decades on the planet.

I have a fabulous Dad and it freaks me out a little because 80 sounds so old and he’s not old. He’s definitely not 80 in the way that other people see 80. He’s still Dad. He’s still super strong, he can still out work us in the garden, he’s still the fountain of all knowledge if you want to invest money, he still does the most meticulous and speedy tax return in all of his large accounting firm’s client base.

He was the last of three kids and was born in 1935 and he witnessed the second world war as a kid. He’s lived the depression, the 50s, 60s and 70s all with sideburns that disappeared sometime in the 90s, he’s survived a leaky home, the stock market crash of 1987 relatively unscathed and is still bearing out the GFC of the mid 2000s. He has lived on the same street on the outer edge of One Tree Hill since the early 1940s. He’s seen the invention of the television, the internet, wireless internet, mobile phones, ipads, ipods, iphones – and talked today of how lucky his Grandkids are to live in today’s times at the cutting edge of technology. He’s a whizz with an excel spreadsheet.

He is a wealth of wisdom and patience, summed up by his favourite sayings – “it’s all part of the rich tapestry of life”, “life and relationships are like a garden – you get out of them what you put in” and “when times are tough you just have to tie a knot and hold on”. He is loyal to a fault and his family matters more to him than anything. Which is why it was so wonderful today to celebrate “Happy Last Day of being 79”  with Dad, Mum, his five kids, seven grandkids and partners for a lunch barbeque at ours. Eating good food, chatting and just spending the day together.

Here he is on his 80th day on the planet powering down the summit of One Tree Hill; his whenua, his maunga. Love you Dad. Here’s to 80 great years, and many more. x



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