I am baptised

John Alexander Halliday

born: 22 May 1913

died: 15 September 2002

Eulogy by his son, Ian W Halliday, at Landican Cemetery, 23 September 2002

It's hard for me to say that my father didn't share my faith in the risen Saviour, but he always supported me in the choices I had made.

Often he said that he wished that he had the faith I had.

This was one of the many ways he showed the honesty for which he was known in his dealings: I always found Dad completely honest: he would not have claimed a faith in something that he did not genuinely believe.

Nevertheless, he supported the choice I did make. Although my choice was the church and not trade unions, he encouraged me in what I did, and I stand before you today, proud to say that I have now served on three different Diocesan Synods.

Dad encouraged me at all times to strive towards goals of my own.

Of course, one of Dad's passions was Esperanto, and I have memories both good and bad of learning the language from the orange book Esperanto por Infanoj or Esperanto for Children, which inspired my interest in language and grammar, which leaves me so frustrated by the some of the low standards I hear these days. I never achieved fluency in Esperanto, but I am fluent in Bislama, another language which builds a bridge between peoples who have no other common language in the way that people like Zamenhof and my Dad had dreamed.

Dad's other passion was the Trade Union movement and I remember some slight disappointment when I found that my first employer did not recognise a union. But my early memories with Dad include going to the 1968 celebration of the Trades Union Congress centenary at Bellevue in Manchester. That was an event I will always remember.

Dad would remember it too, as part of his wide-ranging historical, local and general knowledge. For example, just as I had left my wife and three sons in New Zealand to come here, I found myself talking to someone about stamps and drawing on information I had learned from dad over the years.

I also remember years ago looking through a sticker album of famous places around the world and Dad explaining wistfully that he had never been outside Europe. But from around 1980, when he first did leave Europe, he travelled and learnt extensively, building on what he already knew.

It was a bitter blow a few years ago when he lost his eyesight, and I feel a deep pain with a man for whom reading was such an important part of his life.

In the last few years, we talked of the past and of the future, as Dad reminisced about early days and looked forward to technological developments that the information age has to offer, but which Dad would not live to see.

The changes he saw in his eighty nine years were phenomenal, and as I see them continue and see things beyond my wildest dreams, I will miss sharing them with him.

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