Honouring fathers and father figures

27 September 2023

For many, Father’s Day is a poignant time of reflection and acknowledgement. It is a special occasion where we honour and celebrate the love, guidance and support fathers and father figures provide. From spending time at family get-togethers to visiting our sites for quiet moments of reflection, we choose to spend this day in countless ways.

This year SMCT helped families acknowledge fathers and father figures in many ways – from a BBQ on site at Springvale Botanical Cemetery and pop-up flower shops, to hosting a beautiful annual memorial event dedicated to honouring and remembering those who are no longer with us.

A group of people sit in rows in one of the chapel rooms at Bunurong Memorial Park. In the very foreground on the right are two musicians set up with a piano keyboard and microphone on a stand.

A day of remembrance

On Saturday 2 September, we gathered for a special remembrance service in the beautiful surrounds of Bunurong Memorial Park. The remembrance service provided a comforting space for community to reflect on the unique roles that dads play and connect with others.

We recognise the bond between children and parents or guardians leaves an indelible mark on our lives. The service offered a gentle and heartfelt platform where these relationships could be celebrated. One of the most touching parts of the service was a tribute presentation where a heartwarming montage of memories and messages was played.

Life celebrant David Gouldson guided families through the service with compassion as our Master of Ceremonies, offering meaningful moments for families and community to reflect and remember their parents and guardians.

SMCT Trust Chair Dr Vanda Fortunato delivered a beautiful poem that echoed the sentiments and emotions of the day.

“Fathers and their families, throughout the ages,

Have stood by each other, through life's many stages.

From hunters and gatherers, to farmers and bakers,

Fathers have always been there, through every endeavour and acre.

Through war and peace, through times of feast and famine,

Fathers have been our rock, our shelter and our captain.

They have taught us to be brave, to stand tall and be strong,

And to never give up hope, no matter what may go wrong.

From generation to generation, their legacy lives on,

A bond unbreakable, from dusk until dawn.

Fathers and their families, a story that will never grow old,

For their love and devotion, is worth more than gold.”

- The Ages by Nathaniel Kottmeyer

Families were encouraged to light a candle as a symbolic gesture of remembrance to honour the cherished memories of their loved ones.

A woman holding a toddler lights a tribute candle.

The Father’s Day service aimed to create a sense of shared understanding among families and community, reminding us we are not alone on this day of remembrance.

For those unable to attend on the day, the special moments and sentiments shared have been captured in a video for viewing here/above.

For those inspired by our Father’s Day remembrance service and interested in attending similar events throughout the year, please visit the events page on our website or email events@smct.org.au to join our mailing list.

Additional support and resources

If you’re struggling with the loss of your dad or another loved one, whether recent or distant, support is available. Having someone to confide in can make all the difference.

You can speak to a family member or friend who may understand what you are going through. Confiding in others with shared memories can provide a comforting reminder of your father, while simultaneously delivering emotional support.

Alternatively, organisations like Beyond Blue or Griefline offer professional support via online forums and over-the-phone care. These services are anonymous and available from anywhere in Australia, at any time.

You can also reach out to our Community Care and Wellbeing program, which holds a number of free community activities throughout the year.

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