My Dad, Geoff Day, has passed away this morning
He was peaceful and passed away with his family around him
Thanks for your support and friendship of Dad over his journey: he always valued his friendships with you and I thank you most sincerely for that love and support
If you have any other questions please let me know via firstname.lastname@example.org
Best wishes and thanks again
PASSING OF GEOFFREY JOHN DAY
10.02.1925 – 17.03.2016
Geoff commenced with A.W.A. in Melbourne on 26.4.1942
10th to 13th February 1945. Appointed Telegraphist then transferred to Sydney
1.10.1946 Employee of OTC (A) Sydney
30.6.1956 to 19.1.1962 Transferred to Norfolk Island Cable Station and appointed Senior Telegraphist 19.5.1961
5.3.1962 – 2.4.1962 Snr. Telegraphist Suva Cable Station
2.4.1962 – 15.8.1963 Snr. Telegraphist Fanning Island Cable Station (seconded by C & W.)
15.8.1963 – 9.10.1966 S.O.R. Snr. Telegraphist
1965/66 Attained Supervisory Certificate part time studies.
10.10.1966 – 5.6.1969 Appointed Traffic Officer S.O.R.
9.5.1967 Associated member of the Aust. Institute of Management.
14.8.1967 – 7.1.1968 Acting Supervisor (Records & Statistics).
21.1.1968 – 16.5.1969 Acting Traffic Controller, Liaison (Traffic Section) – (This position was formulated when the new computerized Message Relay Switching Centre began for liaison between Engineering Programming and Technical sections for its satisfactory function.)
6.6.1969 – 1.7.1970 Traffic Controller. S.O.R.
2.7.1970 – 10.12.1972 Appointed Senior Commercial Officer Grade 1
1968/1971 Attained Management Certificate. Part time studies.
21.2.1972 Transferred to Melbourne (S.C.O. Grade 1)
11.12 1972 Acting Traffic Superintendent for a period ? then resumed S.C.O. Grade 1 duties
Transferred back to Sydney in 1980 until Retiring in 1985 age 60
Geoff Day – Eulogy Given By His Son, John Day
In talking about Dad today, I will be using part of a draft that Dad did in writing about his life – a number of thoughts and reflections I will draw on for today’s Eulogy. One thing that I want to focus on today is the love that my parents shared – they lived for each other and I only take comfort that somewhere, they are back together again
Dad was born at 10 Ailsa Grove, Ivanhoe in Melbourne on February, 10, 1925 – he was 91 when he passed away on March 17, 2016. From a point of interest it is worth noting that Dad passed away on the same date as his Fathers Birthday – and St Patricks Day ……
Dad parents were Fred Day (Pop} and Winifred (Mamie) – Pop was a Photographer and Mamie a Mum – Pop passed away in 1968, and Mamie passed away in 1980…..Dad was the third of four children, the others being:
• Uncle Del – he was the eldest and was born in 1918 and passed away in 1983
• Uncle Alan was the next eldest and was born in 1922 – he is here today…he is a very young 94
• Aunty Beth is the youngest of the four siblings: born in 1931 –
Dad remembers arriving ‘with a rush’ – Mamie his mother was on the chamber pot when he arrived….this could be the first part of too much information in today’s Eulogy!!!!
Dad was born and grew up in the depression years – he remembers the daily food routine of Bread and hot water for Breakfast, with Tripe and Sago for Dinner –he never wanted to see two again (and for my sake…thank goodness). Winter would see them toasting bread on an open fire with dripping as the topping – he enjoyed this. He has strong memories of this time, especially around his Dad’s daily breakfast which consisted of an egg – occasionally he would share the top of a boiled egg with Dad – he really enjoyed these mornings
Schooling – Dad started school at Ivanhoe State School in 1929. Whilst in Primary School Dad was to catch Diphtheria at the age 7 – he was to spend nearly three weeks in Fairfield Infectious Disease facility as part of this illness. During this time it was Easter, and being in quarantine meant he had no contact with family. He did recall with some delight getting Chocolate Easter Eggs which was a rare sensation…and loved it: is there where the later taste of Kit Kats was to come from????? Dad never really enjoyed Primary school
Another thing to happen whilst Dad was in School was an Infant Paralysis disease which ran in 1937 and 1938 – the result of this was that parents took their children out of school for that period. Dad recalls being the last one in his grade and was sent home; much to annoyance of Mamie his mother
After Primary School Dad went to Melbourne Technical College which was in Latrobe Street in Melbourne – Dad would train to the city every day from Ivanhoe. Dad loved his secondary schooling. Wednesdays was sports day – Dad would do Swimming and Gymnastics at the YMCA at Princess Bridge. This love of secondary school came to a halt in second year – they closed the school and the new school was in Essendon – not really close to Ivanhoe. He was forced to move to Preston Tech which meant losing his friends and a school he really loved. He never liked his time at Preston Tech. Dad’s reflection of the quality of teachers was the good ones enlisted…the not so good stayed!!!!
Following Dad’s time at Preston Tech his first job in 1941 was as an assistant to a Line Etcher – they made such things as printing blocks for newspapers and advertising. The business was to close as a result of the war and Dad got a new role at Morris and Walkers – they printed and did carton cutting in Fitzroy. He worked there until 1942. At this time dad’s brother Alan and Del had enlisted in the Air Force and Dad was 17. He was offered a job at a company called Amalgamated Wireless Australia (AWA) in Melbourne where he began as a form of telegraphist. After this the Government introduced a policy called Manpower – Dad was now part of essential services and as a result unable to join the services when he turned 18. Dad was to work at AWA/OTC until he retired in 1985 – Dad was to work here for the 43years….not something we see a lot off today.
In his early days at AWA it was off course war time – and all communications was coming through Dad’s offices so long days were the norm – cat naps on chairs were common (something we will see in Dad’s Collage later in the ceremony). In this time Dad remembers liking being busy – because of the war he really missed his brothers, his friends and it was a lonely time for Dad. When Dad was 20, he was requested by AWA to move to Sydney… and this started a whole new story line…but more about that later.
It was in this time he met a Manageress of a local Dry Cleaning business who went by the name of RM – that was the initials she put on the Dry Cleaning dockets. This was off course a lady called Rita Maxwell…soon to be Rita Day. Mum asked Dad to go on a picnic to Bobbin Head – this was how it all started.
Mum then moved to another branch of the Dry Cleaners as the Manager at Bondi Junction and Dad had no idea where she had moved to. By chance a mate of Dad’s who was boarding with Dad saw her in the new shop and advised Dad……the contact then continued……Mum would tell Dad he did not have to bring in dry cleaning to see her, he was always dropping in things to be cleaned.
Mum and Dad were engaged on Mums 21st birthday: in 1947
During this period, housing was difficult to get: Mum’s Aunty was renting a house at Homebush and had to move out, she organised a new flat at 188 Wardell Road, Dulwich Hill – she then ‘on the quiet’ moved in with her sister who lived in a unit upstairs, and this allowed Mum and Dad to get their first flat and fast track their wedding plans. As squatters were a real issue during this time (it was during the recession) Dad moved into the flat two months before they were married……with no furniture, no bed. They had to cover the windows with newspaper so that no one could see that Dad was living there alone
Mum and Dad were then married on July 24, 1948 at St Cannistes Catholic Church at Potts Point. They were to be married for 64 amazing years – they were the best of friends and lived and loved for each other….such strong sole mates
During this time Dad continued working with AWA and in 1946, OTC (Overseas Telecommunications) was formed – I was born in 1953 and was the only child – we lived at Dulwich Hill until my third birthday when we moved to Norfolk Island following a decision by Mum and Dad to work overseas so they could save for a family home – this was really important for both Mum and Dad to have their own home. We were to stay at Norfolk Island for 5.5 years – in this time Dad loved his life here. In 1962 we returned briefly to Australia before heading off to Suva for a short period of time and onto Fanning Island where we lived for eighteen months. Our time at Fanning Island was amazing – a coral atoll about 1600 klm’s south of Hawaii on the equator. Whilst the clear down side of this era was having your mother as a teacher through correspondence – the upside was the island….13 miles in total length, 0.5 miles wide at its widest point, and Mt Fanning an imposing 5 feet above sea level…and yes we rode it frequently. Another highlight was standing on the beach on early mornings and watching 20 plus atomic bombs go off at Christmas Island, some 200 miles away
On Dad’s return to OTC in Sydney, we built a house and lived in Normanhurst – Dad was to work out of the Sydney Office where he moved into management roles in the Operations area until 1970 when he moved into the Marketing area of OTC – 27 years of Shift work had come to an end.
In the early 70’s Dad took on the role of Head of Marketing in Melbourne – he worked in Lonsdale Street in the city, and we lived at Doncaster.
In 1980 Mum and Dad returned to Sydney and were to again buy in Normanhurst – I was to stay in Melbourne following my marriage to Niece in 1976. As mentioned earlier, Dad continued working in the OTC Sydney Office until his retirement in 1985. He was 60 years old when he retired and was in a Sales Management role. They were to stay at Normanhurst before moving into Independent Living in the Adventist Aged facility in Wahroonga in 2005 which was the next suburb from Normanhurst – they were able to maintain contact with family and friends through this move. This venue gave Dad enormous joy – it was located adjacent to natural bushland and Dad would often ‘loose himself’ in this environment
When Dad and Mum retired they then travelled extensively – they caravanned around Australia and travelled overseas – they visited 45 countries which Dad thrived in….his inquisitive nature and love of history and geography resulted in wonderful times for both of them.
As a lifetime smoker, in 1995 Dad had Cancer of the Tonsils – even after Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy he was to take up smoking again for many years before he eventually gave it up some time later.
Dad continued to live in independent living in Wahroonga through Mums Alzheimer’s; it was only after her passing in February 5, 2013 that Dad’s health started to deteriorate and we eventually moved him into a higher level of care. We decided to move Dad down to Melbourne in December 2013 – Dad and I shared the need to have him close to our family as his independence was being impacted by loss of license and reduced mobility
In summarising Dad there are key things I would like to say:
• Dad and Mum where best of friends – there love for each other and others was amazing
• Music was a big part of Mum and Dad’s life…….the songs we played at the start of the service was just a taste of those that Mum and Dad would either sing to or dance to – there are many songs that they would sing in the house, in the car (no car radios in those days) and they are reflected in the compilation you heard when you entered the chapel today……one special song for them is:
‘You are My Sunshine’….. Kiera will do a special presentation on this song later in today’s Service for Dad
• At my mother’s funeral we spoke of her personal attributes – I am going to share those as they apply to Dad today:
His immense loyalty to Family and Friends
Incredibly dedicated to everyone, especially Mum and I
Proud…..he was always proud of his extended family including Beverley who is here today….Beverley has been a strong support of Mum and Dad – thank you
Proud…he was always so proud of his Grandchildren Matt, Simon and Kiera
Proud……he was incredibly proud of Niece
Proud……always proud so proud of Tiffany and Emma – not to mention his Great Grandchildren Oscar and Lucy – with a little girl also on the way for Matt and Tiff – he was always so thrilled to see them
And he was always so proud of Mum and Myself
In summary before I close I wanted to thank:
o All of Mum, Dad and my Family and Friends who have attended today and supported Mum, Dad and myself over many years…..thank you most sincerely for your love, support and friendship….we can’t begin to tell you how much we valued and appreciated it.
o To those who have come from interstate….a special thanks for your efforts in being here today…we really value it
o Dad passed away at Knox Private Hospital after a six day period – he had been living at Emmavale Aged Facility in Lower Templestowe as his residence. To the team at both of these facilities thank you so much for the love and care you have given Dad over his later years
o And to my Dad……what an amazing show of love and loyalty my Dad has shown to my Mum not only through her life, but also the last 11 years of my Mum’s life…..his daily visits, feeding, love and care are beyond description – this commitment shows the principals of Mum and Dad’s relationship throughout their 64 Years. I have no doubt Mum and Dad are dancing somewhere as we speak….and waiting for vespers time to share a drink before dinner….of course a Kit Kat will follow for Dad!!!
o And to my Dad……my message is on the way in the collage which will follow me…..
Dad’s final paragraph in his book says it all from his perspective and I would like to share those thoughts with you…it reads:
‘Just to finish off with saying that life has been absolutely wonderful with Rita, John and family. I would not want to change anything except those 27 years of shift work. My heart use to ache when because of shift work, I was unable to spend more time with John and to go away on Father and Son weekends. Thankfully Rita was always the backbone of our relationship. Life would be very, very dreary without her
I will close of this little story with: MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL’