May 31, 2011
St Philip’s Dunbar where I was priested and served
- This is a photo of our visiting Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire, UK with David, Sylvia & Claire Everett, Janice’s cousins
One of the wonderful fruits of the sometimes painful time at St Philip’s Dunbar was the birth of our first son James. What a joy he has been to us. We are so grateful for the gift of our three sons James, Mark and Andrew. They are irreplaceable gifts from God. I was age 26 at the birth of my first son.
Fatherhood is an amazing gift…
Lord, I give you my dear son. May he live for you all the days of his life.
God the Father loves us more than we even love our own children.
Grandma Olive , holding our first son James, was a very loving lady. She poured into our family in so many ways. We are immeasurably healthier because of her. I always loved to visit her and Grandpa Hird in Roberts Creek on the Sunshine Coast.
Grandpa Vic Hird had a deep love for children. It brought out the best in him. He had a soft spot for James who was key in Grandpa coming back to faith in Jesus Christ. When James was about two to three years old, he danced before Grandpa Vic, as Grandpa Vic cathartically sang ‘Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong, they are weak but he is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.’
One of our favorite places to vacation for the Hird family has been Penticton in the Okanagan. My parents even bought property there at one point, thinking of retiring in Peachland. When our eldest son James was born in 1981, we vacationed that summer in Penticton. Holding James, I was about to go off on the motor bike. Being a wise parent, I gave my son back to my wife Janice, before heading off.
Every one loved our new son James. My in-laws Rev David and Vera Cline had a particular heart for James. David and Vera at that time were leading Brighouse United Church in Richmond, a booming evangelical congregation before the tragedy that happened to their former denomination.
Nana Allen dearly loved her new great-grandson James. Sadly Nana was to pass away the next year in 1982. We still miss her, but rejoice that she is with Jesus. Her godly example has been a great inspiration to us.
When my specialists advised me to step down from St Philip’s on Oct 1st 1981, my father and mother rallied around us, being a great support. My dad Ted has always been very fond of our son James. Family is such a wonderful gift that we don’t always fully appreciate.
James as always is full of life and vitality. You can see why thirty years later James does so well at floor hockey, and is such a strong Canucks fan. Go Canucks Go!!
May 8, 2011
Mother’s Day stirred up a favourite memory from my childhood: going on the Horseshoe Bay Ferry over to the Sunshine Coast, where my Grandma always served us freshly baked, hot apple pie. Grandma Hird baked some of the tastiest apple pies that I’ve ever eaten. But she always apologized about her apple pies, saying that the pastry didn’t turn out just right, or that she hadn’t baked enough pies for us. Our family usually needed to go on a diet for three weeks, just to recover from a weekend of Grandma Hird’s delicious cooking! Grandma always would tell us how fortunate she was to have such wonderful neighbours. She would comment on how caring and friendly they were to her. Whoever you were, Grandma Hird always made you feel special. With such a gift of hospitality, it was no wonder that so many young children in the neighbourhood ‘adopted’ her as their own grandma.