I am delighted to find that this is my 500 th post here at holtieshouse
I could not have thought up a better way to celebrate my 500 th than
with a tribute to my Dad.
Mervyn Holt 1911 – 2002.
My Dad died
Dad was a typical self made man, he got no start from anyone else, he manufactured his own luck, (the harder I work the luckier I get) was a statement he made often.
Growing up the 5th of 6 boys who existed on, rather than lived on the land, he was mercifully too young for WW1 1914 – 1918, but by the time he matured the great depression was upon us so he grew up knowing all about hard times.
His formative years saw him gladly taking any job he could get; it was in the late 1930s that he made the move from the bush to city life when he got a job on the Melbourne Tramways as a bus driver.
Always a quick learner he soon found that the city offered chances for an enterprising young man to make money using his brains rather than his hands.
With absolutely no money behind him he dabbled in buying and selling secondhand motor cars, gradually he expanded into buying and selling real estate, these ventures over a thirty year period made him a moderately wealthy man, (Not bad for a third grade schoolboy who’s favourite subject was rounders) was his proud boast.
Dad had a passion for horses and once he had accumulated enough money to be able to satisfy this passion he became a breeder and trainer of thoroughbred horses, over a long lifetime these horses were the only thing he devoted time to that didn’t make him money.
Dad had a few decent horses over the years but never anything good enough to win any big races, but he knew the breeding and race record of every horse he owned and loved them all.
His rather stormy relationship with my Mother ended in the 1950s, he then married his soul mate
Dad spent twenty years back on the land, this time around he really enjoyed it and he led an active life there until at the age of 87 he agreed to “retire to the coast” over this same twenty five year period he had some major health scares but always managed to bounce back from them, mainly I believe because of the wonderful mental attitude that he had.
Dad spent the last year of his life in a Nursing Home when it became to much for Ada to care for him, like most things in his life he adjusted to this much better than most.
He was in hospital recuperating from what seems almost to be the obligatory broken hip when pneumonia set in and claimed him quite peacefully.
My middle Son Marcus conducted the funeral service for “Pa” which added a great personal touch to it.
It is with the normal mixed feelings that I look back today and remember all the good things about my Dad, I wouldn’t have wanted to see him live on in pain and suffering, but at the same time I miss the long talks we had and the joy of his poetry and remembrances.