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Celebrating different kinds of dads on Father’s Day

Ashley Sarai of Kamloops, centre, receiving her masters degree in teaching with dad Bill, left, and her mom Toni. Ashley aspires to keep working hard in life to make her dad proud.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Chris Henderson
June 20, 2021 - 8:00 AM

Dads. They come in all forms, ages, backgrounds and genders. There are biological, adoptive, step and single dads. They all have different personalities and different styles of parenting. Some are softies and some are tough.

Tough love is the reason Kamloops resident Ashley Sarai credits her dad Bill Sarai for all of her strength and successes. She says her dad was hard on her growing up and did not hand her everything, which gave her strength.

“I am every ounce the person I am today because of my dad,” Sarai said. “My dad gave me the strength to follow my dreams, to achieve them and to never give up. He gave me my drive, my social skills, my empathy and my heart. He set the stage for working hard, following his passion and accomplishing his dreams. In doing so, he has been an inspiration for his kids. His drive for life and all it has to offer will forever be his legacy.”

In some cases, becoming a dad requires a little bit of extra work and creativity.

Layne and Chris Oakhart of Kelowna say they have complimentary personalities they believe will make them excellent dads.
Layne and Chris Oakhart of Kelowna say they have complimentary personalities they believe will make them excellent dads.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Matt Reznek

Layne and Chris Oakhart are a same-sex couple in Kelowna in the process of having their first child through surrogacy. The couple say they often reflect on how fortunate they are to be alive in this particular part of the world at this time. Their big dream is to have a baby of their own.

“We have the freedom to live our lives as a couple,” Layne said. “Having a baby as a gay couple was unimaginable just a generation or two ago in Canada, and is still out of reach for many gay couples across the globe. In addition to each other, we both have very supportive families and a strong community of friends that are almost as excited as we are about our future child.”

So many of our dads were not born in Canada. They came from other countries, sometimes many decades ago.

Princeton resident Jo-Anne Roth’s dad, Wilhelm Heinrich Geyer, right, is a grandfather to seven and great-grandfather to 15. He is 88 years old and lives on Jo-Anne’s property. She says she is grateful for this time she has with him, making memories she will always cherish.
Princeton resident Jo-Anne Roth’s dad, Wilhelm Heinrich Geyer, right, is a grandfather to seven and great-grandfather to 15. He is 88 years old and lives on Jo-Anne’s property. She says she is grateful for this time she has with him, making memories she will always cherish.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Jo-Anne Roth

This is the case for Princeton resident Jo-Anne Roth’s dad, Wilhelm Heinrich Geyer, who came to Canada from Germany in 1958. Jo-Anne says the two had a special bond for as long as she can remember. She says throughout her childhood her dad took her many places to see all parts of the country.

“We were not rich enough to travel on holidays so we moved often because it was his dream to see this amazing country,” Roth recalled. “I would sit with him in the U-haul and he would describe everywhere we went to me. He taught me to respect myself and others, and to work hard. He loved his family more than anything and was a man who could do anything.”

Some dads are doing the big job of single parenting.

Single father Mark Readman with his children at a campground in Summerland.
Single father Mark Readman with his children at a campground in Summerland.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Mark Readman

Mark Readman is a single dad living in Summerland. He works as a full time delivery driver and currently has his kids full time. He says he has always known he wants to be a parent.

"I have a wonderful relationship with my kids," Readman said. "I also have positive male role models that have been a huge help as I navigate this life of a single dad. As challenging as it can be, I know I have love for my kids and they have love and feel safe. All I need to do is figure out how to do it one day at a time."

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