Each year, we join the rest of the world in honouring, celebrating, and showing our appreciation for the role that fathers play in our families, and in our society. Like many of these commemorative occasions, one day is simply not enough to thank fathers for the enormous contributions they, and parents make, in moulding our children.
We look to fathers as role models, counselors, teachers and caregivers. Their morals and values provide a foundation that helps to shape and develop our children into exceptional individuals and valuable members of our society.
I have often spoken of the strong influence my mother had on my education and career choices and progression, but my father also motivated me to always push for excellence in academics, in my profession and in my personal life. Like so many fathers do, he often made personal sacrifices to ensure that his children were provided for and had every opportunity available to them to succeed.
It takes courage and strength to raise a child in the current environment of insecurity and uncertainty in Trinidad and Tobago, and I commend the many fathers who have taken up this duty. As you enjoy the considerations and gifts on this Father’s Day, I ask you to take this time to reflect on your responsibilities and recommit to caring for, nurturing and defending your families.
While the concept of the family has evolved, with parents sharing the responsibility of ensuring the emotional, physical and intellectual development of their children, fathers are viewed as sources of strength and tend to take on the role of protectors of their families.
Today, there are many single parents who must play the roles of both father and mother, which can no doubt be overwhelming. To the single fathers and single mothers, I applaud your courage, and wish you the strength to continue on your path.
There are also many in our country who have not experienced a father’s love, and some who may have never had a father in their lives while growing up. It is my hope that where fathers are absent, others have stepped in and taken on that role, providing care and love to so many of our sons and daughters.
As we mark Father’s Day on Sunday 18th June 2017, I ask that you also spare a thought for those persons whose fathers have passed away. To those experiencing sorrow and loss at this time, I wish you God’s grace. Take solace in the fact that your fathers will always live on in the memories you keep.
On this occasion of Father’s Day, I send my fondest wishes to all citizens who have taken up this sacred duty. I wish all fathers and their families health, happiness and every success.
Happy Father’s Day!
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP