We are sadly nearing the end of this story now as Dad resisted retirement until he was 85, he still fed horses and tended to their needs until the farm was finally sold.
Because of Dads love of poetry, I took him to a “poets muster” once, at 85 he entered the competition, and gave a creditable performance too.
He barracked for the eventual winner just as he must have done in his youth by clapping, whistling and stamping his feet loudly on the floor, talk about enthusiasm.
Dad must have been impressed by the poem I wrote to commemorate our trip to the family reunion, because when he read it years later he proudly said to Ada, “I wrote that,” I’m not sure he was ever convinced that I’d written it.
The last few years were spent in a lovely unit on the banks of the Tweed river at Tweed Heads.
He loved to sit and watch the people walking their dogs, joggers getting their exercise, the boats on the river, or as it’s only a couple of hundred meters from the river heads, the ever changing river itself, as the tides came and went.
He enjoyed nothing more than to be visited by his friends and family, and would spend hours reminiscing over old times.
He was 90 years old when he finally gave up, I can think of many, many friends, but I can’t think of a single enemy, that seems a fitting epitaph for Dad.
He used to tell me often how quickly I was catching up to him, “I used to be 25 times your age when you were born, now I’m not even twice your age.”
Dad passed away quietly at the John Flynn Memorial Hospital on the Queensland Gold Coast on January 20th 2002, Ada, Marcus and I were with him at the end.
His funeral service was conducted by my son Marcus, Dad would have been very pleased with the service and the roll up of good friends and his family.
He was right when he said “I’m not going then” he will live on forever.
A tribute to my Dad, Mervyn Holt by a loving son, Peter Holt
Well that's my "book" I hope you liked reading about my Father, to those of you who have chosen to comment, thank you, I wrote this very soon after his death, knowing that if I didn't do it then I probably never would, it was hard work at times then, and it still managed to touch a few raw nerves even now as I read and posted it.