To me he always seemed, looked, old..
Born in Tasmania in the Nineteenth Century, he was my paternal grandfather..Of course I only knew him as ‘Pa’…He had the kindness that older people seem to have..I was his only grandchild for 10 years..needless to say I was a spoilt brat, he and ‘Nan’ feted me for many years…memories of their home in Glen Iris are still vivid…the house seemed huge to a little boy in the 50’s…It was where they brought up their two sons and daughter..no splash of wealth.
I think my Grandfather was a deep thinker, he was a teacher at the Mens College, later known as RMIT, in metallurgy…..I have etched in my septuagenerian brain images of this man with a blue singlet, sweat as he worked in a Bronzite Factory in South Melbourne..
In his late 60’s he and later Nan had strokes and both spent their last years in a Nursing Home…Almost 15 years of their lives were spent in the Nursing Home..
The most moving episode was when Harold Vincent, my ‘Pa’ gave me a book of poems, sadly I no longer have the book nor the title…it was like a final farewell from a mentor who probably knew for decades that his grandson was who he was…similar..I guess genes are present in many forms.
He was protestant, a freemason, and his eldest son married a Catholic and then his first grandchild comes to tell him he want to be a priest….His word still reverberate some 50 years later as he said to my father ‘You are going to give your son to the church”..
RIP Grandpa, the only one I ever knew