A tribute to my dad

Good afternoon, church family and friends. First of all, thank you so much for coming here today whether you’re here in person or you’re virtually joining us [ed. on the live stream]. I appreciate it.

I’ve got my two of my sisters here and I need to thank a lot of people for making this celebration happen today. My wild guess is that you’re all here today because in some way or another Stanley Roy Archer, my wonderful da, made a positive difference to your life in some shape or form or maybe through me. I’m well aware how blessed I was to have my entire life to spend with this outstanding human being as his daughter. As you know, Uncle Roy made every single day of his 90 years of life count. He used it in voluntary service, and as we’ve heard, with family and friends across two Nations, right up to his last moment.

He taught me the Lord’s Prayer when I was just three years old and made me understand what every single word meant. So by the age of three, I understood that and we would say it together at bedtime. So for those people who don’t think he was a spiritual man, he was spiritual in a different way. It wasn’t about going in to churches. He had some experiences of a lot of people in the church that weren’t up to his standards. Let’s say they weren’t following the lessons in his way and that’s why you don’t see him in church that much.

So Dad took to being a single parent of me with relative ease, enthusiasm, love and patience and of course he had that sense of duty. I don’t know if any of you heard him say “a man has to do what a man has to do when a man has to do what he ought to do,” go figure.

Dad only ever wanted to support and be here for all of us and for us to be the best that we could possibly be no matter what our passion was. He valued the Arts and Sciences or whatever equally; it didn’t matter that you were an artist or a musician, he encouraged us in everything that we wanted to be and to be the best that we could possibly be no matter what our passion was. He valued the arts and sciences equally and it didn’t matter to him that you were an artist or a musician or whatever; he encouraged everything that we wanted to be. My dad would often tell me “we’re a team, it’s always been me and you from the beginning.”

Now consider, he was a man who left school at 14 and described himself as semi literate. What a clever man. My sister and Carol Crosby, his adopted daughter, said that he could put his hand to anything. Except for electrics that is because he was frightened of getting electrocuted. Now you have heard of all that he did, I want to add that he founded the Jeffrey Town Farmers Association, kind of like a Cooperative with his friend Lucian Bennett. The group would meet in his brother’s cellar.

In a biblical way my dad used to talk about being on overtime beyond three score and 10. I remember when he was in his 70s, he told me, “I think I could give you another 15 years,” so he was more or less correct on that one. And this was dad’s way of preparing me for today and the time ahead. He would say that any game can play out, he would say to his friend Uncle Euston, “at our age my friend, anything can happen.” Sadly, many of you have been where I am right now with your parents and this is why I’m eternally grateful for you to even come here and do this with me. I feel your pain. May your loved ones also rest in peace, and I hope they’ll meet up with my dad and have a good chat.

I have three messages from my dad’s life for you. We know how stories come down to us from our elders. you never regret the time taken with them. Firstly, treat everyone as you wish to be treated. That’s why there’s so many of you here today. Second, don’t be afraid to explore your passion. You’ll find a way to make it happen and all of you here today are a testament to that because you’ve taken the chance to go into your music or go into your art or in to a business of some kind. Thirdly, be of good cheer, as my dad would say, and be good to each other, look after one another.

Finally brethren farewell be perfect be of good Comfort. We have one mind live in peace and the god of love and peace shall be with you.