Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Arthur Dearn 1929-2012



It has been a sad week here in the Duchy, with my dad dying suddenly on Monday morning. Dad was born in Shanghai, living a privileged British colonial experience until 1942, when he and his family were interned by the Japanese as enemy citizens. That experience gave him a lifelong deep insecurity, as well as poor health, but he managed to cope with moving to a strange country (Australia) after the war and raising a family without ever losing his basic kindness and sense of humour.

Among many other things, I owe to him my hobby. I was very lucky to grow up in a house where games of one sort or another were being played all the time, and everyone had some sort of crafty-arty hobby. Between us my brother and I made most of the Airfix catalogue, and I have many happy memories of blazing away at 1/32 Airfix Napoleonic figures on the dining room floor, firing nails from Britains cannons. When he used to smoke a pipe he would also enliven our games by blowing smoke into model buildings - I remember storming some wooden building with my Airfix paras as smoke curled out of the windows. Probably dad's finest hour was coming up with a naval game, for which he painted a couple of massive boards as oceans on which we maneuvered miniature warships. As I have grown older I've become better at painting, my games are more sophisticated, but I have never lost the basic 'joy and forgetfulness' in games(thanks Conrad!) that I learned from my dad. Dad was never a prolific painter, being too much of a perfectionist, and it was something of a running joke between us that he has been tinkering with the one box of Airfix 1/32 Napoleonic Highlanders for literally about 35 years. This must be some kind of record. I shall have to finish them for him one day.

So for you dads out there, keep playing games with your kids, and if anyone feels so inclined, lift a glass, preferably of single malt, to the memory of Arthur.

19 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear of your loss, Dux.

    Vale Arthur.

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  2. My condolences, I recently lost my grandfather, I feel your pain.

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  3. Very sorry for your loss.

    Matt

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  4. What a full vintage, I'm sorry for your loss

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  5. Lovely eulogy, sorry for your loss.

    Regards,
    Matt

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  6. very sorry to hear of your loss.

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  7. Grant Arthur eternal rest O Lord and may perpetual light shine upon him.

    I shall have a glass at lunch in his memory.

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  8. Sorry for your loss. I shall have too a glass in his memory.

    Fabrizio

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  9. Very, very sorry to hear this sir, deepest condolences....

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  10. I'm sorry for your loss. Been there. It is a worthy eulogy that you've written. I'll raise a glass in his honour as well.
    -Ross

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  11. Condolences
    Your eulogy has some great memories there!
    I will raise a glass tonight also.

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  12. Condolences for your loss, and you are very lucky to have some great memories.

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  13. Very sorry to hear that Alan - but a wonderful testament to fatherhood. I'll raise a glass from across the water.

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  14. I'm sorry to hear of your loss Alan. My deepest condolences.

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  15. My thoughts and prayers are with you, friend. Saying goodbye to Dad is awful, even more so when you shared something (mine was the TA). I'll raise a toast this lunchtime, it'll have to be a pint cider though, I don't do whiskey.

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  16. I am sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my father last October. He flew P-51's in WWII, but rarely talked about it. He did give my brother and I a love of gaming, buying us an ACW boardgame when we were kids.
    It sounds like you have great memories of him.

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  17. Very sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad, deepest sympathy's.

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