Welcome to our fourth week of Term 1, 2018. Our annual NEGS Swimming Carnival held last Friday has been another testament to the great sense of community that exists within our School. With all parties enjoying the day of fun and sun, it once again highlights that the whole-school-initiative of the event is working well.
Last Thursday evening saw our inaugural “Father/Daughter Dinner” which was a resounding success. This was a significant occasion whereby we acknowledged and honoured our Dads. Whether they were Dads by blood or otherwise; whether they were present on the night or not.
It is widely accepted that girls/women get their reference point for future relationships through their most important first relationship with a man – their father. It is from here girls garner how to be treated by all members of the opposite sex; what is acceptable behaviour in any scenario and what is not. It is from this relationship that girls become confident about themselves and know who they are as people.
The most important job a man has is to raise his children. Even upon reflection of his time in the White House, Barack Obama noted that his most significant achievement, and the thing he will remember most in his life, are his girls.
In one of his most significant speeches before he became President, Obama quoted Matthew 7:24-25:
“Whoever hears these words of mine, and does them, shall be likened to a wise man who built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.”
He then went on to say: “Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded ….that family is the most important. And we are called to recognise and honour how critical every father is to that foundation. They are teachers and coaches. They are mentors and role models. They are examples of success and the men who constantly push us toward it.”
Raising girls is a privilege.
I leave you now with the speech presented on the evening by our Head Girl, Emily Barton. I am sure you will agree it is impressive and heartfelt.
“Tonight we are here to celebrate the relationship between a daughter and her father.
We believe this connection is one worth recognising. In saying this we have prepared a speech to show our gratitude and appreciation for your endless support over the years.
The bond between a father and their daughter knows no limits. Whether biological, foster or adoptive, they teach us through the encouragement they give, the questions they answer, the limits they set, and the strength they show in the face of hardship.
Like many of us, my dad has shown me the person he wants me to be not through his firm hand but through his example. As a young girl, having a meaningful figure in your life gives you direction, picks you up when you fall and most importantly encourages you to keep going, no matter how hard the road ahead may seem. Through your endless love and support, you help us to find our feet in a world where life isn’t always plain sailing. It is a given that we will make mistakes, but it’s how we pick ourselves up that defines who we are.
Family may not always be blood, it’s the people in your life that would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what. As a father, you are your little girl’s hero, her mentor, her first love and her best friend for life.
I consider myself to be very lucky. My father gave me one of the best gifts anyone can give, he believed in me. He believed in me when I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, he believed in me when I failed and, above all, he believed in me when I succeeded. He was my pillar of strength. He would hold me up in the bad times and let me fly in the good. Through the challenges we have faced as a family, he has shown immense strength of character, persevering even when all hope seemed to be lost. In my early years of boarding school, I quickly learned the sacrifices parents made for their children. They put their heart and soul into giving my brother and I, the best possible education and I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the endless opportunities. I may be growing up and I may be at eye level now but I will always be my Daddy’s little girl and no matter where life may take us, we will never be far away in our hearts. The love between a father and a daughter knows no distance and no matter what life throws in my direction, if you call, I will come running.
Jessie will now read a letter that we believe perfectly encapsulates the relationship between a father and daughter.
To my loving father,
I hope you know dad, how blessed I feel to have you in my life! I’m super proud to be your daughter. No words written on paper can accurately express the love I feel for you. Whenever you lifted me in your strong wide arms and enveloped me in the warmest and tightest hug possible, I knew you were the man I could always take refuge in.
Every time you dropped me off at school and let go of my tightly held hand, I would anticipate for the school day to be over so I could hold that hand again. Your never-ending series of jokes made you my Daddy Cool! You have motivated me in every walk of life, be it education, extra-curricular activities or relationships at different stages in my life.
Thanks for not only being the best-dad-ever but for being my best friend too!”