Friday, April 21, 2017

Happy Birthday, Dad!

In Australia today my Dad celebrates a rather significant birthday.

Yes, 80 years ago today Dad was born in the rural New South Wales town of Coonabarabran to Aubrey and Isabel Bayly.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

I've said it before but it's worth saying again: My brothers and I are very fortunate to have Gordon James Bayly as our father. He is a man of integrity, compassion, and selfless service to others. We experienced and witnessed such qualities growing up in our hometown of Gunnedah, and they're qualities that are still very much part of our father today.

I love you, Dad, and can’t thank you enough for all you continue to be and give to me, my brothers, our family, and so many others whose lives are touched by yours. I'm sorry I can't be with you to celebrate your birthday, but I sure do look forward to seeing you in July.

I last saw my father when I was back in Australia last May. I'm pictured above with him and my mother in the coastal town that they now call home, Port Macquarie.

Left: Dad holding me when I was just a little boy. This photo was taken during a family holiday at The Entrance in the Australian summer of 1966/67.

Right: With Dad in Port Macquarie – May 2016.

Above: Dad as a little boy with his parents Aubrey (Aub) and Isabel (Belle). This picture was taken in the early 1940s at “Flodden,” my grandmother’s family farm in the Purlewaugh district of northwestern New South Wales.

Above: Dad as a schoolboy in the 1940s.

Above: Mum and Dad, early in their courtship, in Gunnedah in the mid-1950s.

Above: Mum and Dad pictured at a social event in Gunnedah in the late 1960s.

Above: My brothers and I with Dad and Dad's step-father, Bill Smith, in the early 1970's. It's my younger brother Tim's birthday, and we were at a football carnival in, if I recall correctly, the small country town of Manilla. My older brother, Chris, was clearly playing that day.

Above: With Dad in Sydney, circa 1980.

Above: With Dad in 1990.

Above: Mum and Dad at Heidelberg Castle, Germany - August 23, 2005. For more images and commentary of our 2005 European tour, click here.

Above: Pictured with Dad in Port Macquarie in 2010.

Did you know that Dad is the same age as the Prince Valiant adventure strip? In fact, it was Dad's collection of Prince Valiant "comic" books from the 1950s that first fired my interest in that heroic Viking prince named Valiant!

That same interest compelled me in 2011 to establish a blog dedicated to what's been described as "the finest work ever produced in the comic art medium." And one of my first posts on this blog was the transcript of the interview I did with Dad in January 2010 about his early interest in Prince Valiant. To read this interview, click here.

Above: My brothers and I with our parents – April 2015.

From left: Tim, Mum, Dad, Chris, and me. We're pictured in Melbourne for my eldest nephew's wedding.

For more great photos of Dad and the Bayly family through the years, see the previous Wild Reed posts:
Happy Birthday, Dad (2015)
Happy Birthday, Dad (2014)
Happy Birthday, Dad (2013)
Happy Birthday, Dad (2011)
Happy Birthday, Dad (2010)
Happy Birthday, Dad (2009)
Congratulations, Mum and Dad
Catholic Rainbow (Australian) Parents

See also:
Commemorating My Grandfather, Aub Bayly, and the Loss of the AHS Centaur
Remembering Nanna Smith
A Visit to Gunnedah
Port Macquarie Days
Europe 2005

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