A Few Good Men

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Written By Vivian Chandra

“My dad’s name is Phil, and whenever I finish eating and say, ‘Dad, I’m full,’ he always replies, ‘No, I’m Phil; you’re Ruby.’” – Ruby’s Dad 

The internet is rife with ‘dad’ jokes. Cheesy puns that, for some reason lost to history, are often attributed to the fathers in our lives (and not necessarily in a good way). As we approach Father’s Day in this part of the world, I’d like to celebrate more than just the cheesy dad joke; I’d like to highlight some great dads we’ve seen in the media. Let’s raise a glass to those men who show all of us what being a great dad, and indeed being a great person, really means. 

Volunteering Dad 

Patrick Langevad is a St John First Response volunteer, a Fire Service volunteer, a rugby coach and a dad to two teenagers. Aotearoa has many tiny rural communities that are cut-off geographically from essential services. They rely on the volunteers, often sourced from the locals. Volunteers like Langevad who saves lives by simply being there when no one else can be. 

Langevad is not only out there saving lives, but he is also modelling what a good person is to his two kids. So much so that they see themselves as volunteers in the future too.

Teen Dad

Noa Woolloff is a musician, a top tennis player and a teen dad. He shot to fame when his school chose him as head boy, and he chose to take it all in his stride. Woolloff’s ex-girlfriend fell pregnant when he was just sixteen. While he could’ve fallen under the weight of the circumstances, he chose instead, to take a positive view. He used the situation to increase his personal motivation and drive and do something amazing with his life. He wanted to be a positive role model and particularly, to break the stigma around teenage parents. Since then , he has finished school and started a social enterprise called Increase Clothing NZ. It raises money to give other teen parents a boost when they most need it.

Teamwork Dad

Pat Wilkes and his daughter Eilish Wilkes are a dynamic duo, and the Minister of Health Volunteer Awards think so too. For the first time, a father and daughter pair have won two different awards for their work with Child Cancer Foundation. Pat has been volunteering since 2001 when Eilish was first diagnosed with cancer. Not to be outdone, Eilish started volunteering herself as soon as she could. Despite their own challenges, the Wilkes family work together to ensure other families are supported and cared for.

Cheers! Let’s raise our glasses.

These are merely some of the many examples out there. The media can be quick to jump on the bad news, but stories like this remind us that the world is also full of good people.

Maybe your dad is still around, maybe you are a dad, or maybe you’re married to a great dad. Whatever your personal story is, this father’s day, let’s all remember these fantastic men. Instead of buying another pair of socks, go out there and do some good in the world. Who knows, some little boy might see you and grow up to be a great dad himself.