Dad always said that while someone remembered you with affection you never die. I was reminded of this today when I received a telephone call today from someone who was asking my permission to use photographs of Dad for an article he was writing for the local paper. Ron was writing about his membership of the St John’s Ambulance Brigade  and his first mentor had been my Dad and he had many fond memories of him.

Ron met Dad when he first went to work for the NCB just after the war. Dad had recently been demobbed from the Navy and had returned to his life time love of teaching first aid and training the team which took part in the  inter- colliery competitions. I well remember the afternoons watching those competitions, all the men in their smart uniforms and the womenfolk in their Sunday best.  Dad  led a successful team which won many cups and shields  which decorated our sideboard. Mum and I had to polish these so, although we were proud of him when he won them, we were not quite so enthusiastic about them as he was:)

Ron  was encouraged by Dad to join the SJAB and started as one of the “casualties” made up my Dad with gory realism. He was a good teacher and really enjoyed passing on his knowledge to anyone who cared to learn, from little cub scouts to the miners at the colliery. In his latter years he was asked to train First Aiders for the new Health and Safety certificates which became mandatory for employers. This was the only time he had been paid to do what he had done so willingly for so many years.

Because he was so involved with the SJAB, and other medical connections in the family, everyone assumed that I would become a nurse or doctor, but I vehemently denied this as I was determined to be a teacher, especially when I became “hooked” on the Chalet School stories, and dreamed about starting my own school. Then when I was about 16 I suddenly realised that I wanted to be a nurse. I don’t know why I changed, I just knew and nothing ever changed that.

Dad told me all the disadvantages, low pay, long hours etc. but when he could see I was determined he gave me his backing, encouraging me when I got downhearted or had a nasty Sister, and was very proud when I passed my state finals.

This phone call today made me proud when I thought that so many years after his death he his still remembered with such affection. He did not leave a monetary fortune to us but who can measure the legacy of pride?

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