Tributes are in order for three categories of men who, over the years, have definitely fulfilled their roles as fathers in their own special ways.
For centuries, many priests have served as true fathers to countless underprivileged masses of humanity the world over. Indigenous places such as Zariwa (St Ignatius) in Region 9 and Mariaba (Moruka) in Region 1 are examples of hinterland communities which have benefited from the yeoman service of various Catholic priests. Some are male versions of Mother Teresa. And from someone whose one-year attempt at chastity some time back wasn’t successful, congratulations are hereby extended to these men of the cloth for their success in this area of personal sacrifice. Some teenage students are known to have sent Father’s Day cards to teachers they probably held in high esteem. It was a pleasant surprise when one such greeting was slipped into a file on my desk at school the Monday after a bygone Father’s Day. The exceptional ‘straight A’ student who sneaked that message to me later said her mom was a single parent and, in effect, to her, I was regarded as the father she never knew. Other ‘Sirs’ would’ve also benefited from similar tokens of appreciation on Father’s Day. Then we have men who, for good reasons, have chosen to adopt a parentless child or two with their partners, rather than try to become biological fathers themselves. To me, these are smart persons, and this is widely done in developed countries. With the spectre of an overpopulated planet Earth with limited resources and billions of mouths to feed in future, this most compassionate and humane response to this reality is heartily saluted. In closing I wish to join the advocacy bandwagon on behalf of the sex represented by the colour blue, that Guyana’s administrators also consider the same amount of paternity leave be granted to us, as those given maternity leave, represented by pink. To me, this is gender-balance in practice.