Fathers Day Thoughts by Sue Whiteman

By Sue Whiteman

For the second year in a row, Father’s Day will fall during another lockdown and until restrictions are lifted, celebrations for this special day are almost impossible. Father’s Day is always held on the third Sunday of June in the United Kingdom. The significance of this day is to honour fatherhood, the fathers of our families as well as their influence in society.   

The tradition was founded by a young American woman from Spokane, Washington called Sonara Smart Dodd.  Sonara’s mother died during childbirth, her father William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran was left to raise his daughter along with her five brothers as a single parent. As Sonara sat in church listening to a Mother’s Day sermon, she thought she would like a similar day to honour her dad.  She set about petitioning her local community and the government to agree a date in order to celebrate and honour father’s everywhere.  On June 19, 1910 at the YMCA in Spokane, Washington the first official Father’s Day celebration was held. Sonara who was born in Arkansas chose June 5th, the same date as her own father’s birthday.  However, Father’s Day always falls on the third Sunday in the United Kingdom, the same as U.S and Canada.

The summer solstice happens around the same time of year as Father’s Day and some people link this with pagan celebrations and closely relate it to honouring their most powerful god – The Sun.

Families will be organising special meals at home, in a pub or restaurant; others will celebrate this weekend with trips away or planning outings for the family to enjoy together. Hopefully with restrictions lifting you will be allowed to meet in person, but if you are unable to, you should still celebrate.  You could surprise your dad with a home meal delivery of his favourite foods straight to his front door.

To mark the occasion and help say thanks there are a number of meaningful ways to celebrate Father’s Day and make your own father feel special and appreciated. Some suggestions include learning about his family tree and writing about family history, share your earliest or favourite memories of him with photos. If you are creative, a homemade gift would be very acceptable and personal to your dad.

The 20th June is largely observed around the world, sons and daughters will be spoiling their dads rotten, giving their fathers or father figures cards, presents and other thoughtful gestures to show how much they care and make it a day to remember.