Fast Friday with Winston Churchill (and a tribute to my Dad)

Posted October 28, 2011 in Latest News & Insights

Last Saturday, my father passed away after a short, but vigorous, battle with cancer.  My dad was a larger than life guy and, what was comforting for myself, my Mum and brothers after his death, was the outpouring of memories we received from his former pupils, rugby lads, friends and lawn bowling buddies.  One of my dad’s favourite quotes is attributed to Winston Churchill:

“You make a living by what you get.  You make a life by what you give.”

Standing in my parents living room, looking at all the “things” my dad had acquired over the course of his lifetime (he was a complete pack rat) was a stark reminder of the phrase “you can’t take it with you”.  Seeing his slippers by his chair, reading 60 year-old excuse notes from parents asking Mr. Roberts to let their sons out of P.E. class, and looking at his collection of Rugby awards and memorabilia made us smile but it was the notes we received from the people whose lives he somehow helped to shape that, for me, held the most comfort.

My dad was a natural leader.  I learned many lessons from him about hard work, taking risks and questioning misplaced authority.  Through the many notes of condolence, we heard how my dad had inspired others including former players, pupils and colleagues.  Many of them credited their successes later in life to lessons they’d learned from my dad on the rugby pitch.

My dad wasn’t a big celebrity (although he probably could have been in the world of sport if he’d cared a toss for that kind of thing… which he didn’t).  He just loved what he did and cared about the people he was leading as a coach.  Sure, he was a hard ass and could be impatient and tough.  But, you always knew that Dad was in your corner cheering you on and believing in you.

This is what life really is all about… the ultimate legacy of what you leave behind is what you leave with others.  What a wonderful opportunity we all have to make a lasting, positive difference in the lives of other people.  I hope you are making the most of your opportunities to build your legacy every day.
Just like my Dad did.  I’ll miss you Dad.

Happy leading!


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  1. Glain, well said. You can’t take it with you, but you can leave something really important behind: a meaningful legacy. Sounds like that’s what Dad did…