Another Year – Another Day

Here we are, another Father’s Day, another year, and a big thanks to Sonora Louise Smart (1842 – 1919) from the USA, who was the founder of Father’s Day.

Mother’s Day was formally initiated in 1908 by Anna Jarvis in the USA.

Two years later Sonora, a devout women of faith, began to advocate for Father’s Day. In June 2010 in an address to the Spokane Christian Ministers’ Association, Sonora Louise Smart said:

“The beautiful custom of Mothers’ Day suggests the question, Why not a Fathers’ Day? This question is further emphasized by the celebration in our Sunday schools of Children’s Day.

A Father’s Day would call attention to such constructive teachings…
–The fathers place in the home
–The training of children
–The safeguarding of the marriage tie
–The protection of womanhood and childhood.”

Sonora’s prescience regarding Father’s Day celebrations was outstanding. Who would ever guess that 100 years later we would be fighting for the very existence of fathering in general and gender in particular?

The importance of marriage to fatherhood cannot be overstated. Whatever the case, Australian dads owe a huge debt to Sonora’s commitment to honour her own father, and fathers in general. You see, Sonora’s father was a widower, a single dad who put his family and obviously his daughter first. It would appear he never remarried after his wife passed away in childbirth when Sonora was 9 years old. At the time her father had a total of 13 children with nine in the home and most being quite young. Now that’s commitment.

So again Sonora, the Dads4Kids team salutes you for your passion.

This Father’s Day for me has been busy with radio interviews and follows the exciting development of the Dads4Kids Instagram Photo Competition with 600 entries. This is a great result as the competition is only a week old and still has 3½ weeks to go.

Instagram video (30secs)

The many photos are both moving and inspirational, all at the same time. It gives you a profound insight into a lot of young Aussie dads who (judging by the photos) are very committed to their children.

On Thursday I had a call from a major Brisbane newspaper to comment on a short film (1.52 secs) released now on YouTube for Father’s Day by a Gold Coast man, Nils Nilsson. This is how his media release read:

Gold Coast filmmaker Nils Nilsson, who has worked on major international films such as Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, San Andreas and The Inbetweeners 2, has this year created an emotional tribute to fatherhood in the form of a short film, Faderskap (meaning ‘fatherhood’ in Swedish).

It aims to create more awareness about the critical role of fatherhood and is timely with Father’s Day just around the corner on Sunday, September 6.

The movie, shot entirely around the Gold Coast and starring only locals, was made to honour the passing of Nils’ grandfather, Stig, earlier in 2015.

“’Faderskap’ is dedicated to fathers who remain present in their children’s lives,” said Mr. Nilsson.

“The creation of this film came through the mourning process, after losing my Swedish grandfather, Stig Nilsson, to pancreatic cancer,” he said.

“Above all, I am grateful to him for inadvertently teaching my father how to be a better man for his own children.”

For further information or to arrange an interview about his film, please contact Nils Nilsson:

See it for yourself:
After checking out Nils Nilsson’s short film I was so inspired I rang him to find out more. Consequently Dads4Kids dedicated a whole media release to getting his story and that of his film out to the general public. This is what I said in our media release:

Nils Nilsson has captured something very profound in this short film which is a tribute to those fathers who are committed to remaining present in their children’s lives in the light of his abandonment and his own fatherlessness and a very emotional journey of forgiveness and healing. The sub title of his short film could well be ‘Forgive Your Father’.
Interestingly Nils’ story is far more complex than would first appear. His father abandoned him at a very young age and after three divorces and many more children came looking from Sweden for his long lost sons in Australia. He ended up spending three years living close by his two boys in Australia while Nils was between 12 and 15 years old. Nils spent every second weekend with his dad over those three years. During this period a great deal of reconciliation and forgiveness took place and at age 15, Nils followed his father back to Sweden to further understand his lost heritage.

Nils’ grandfather had not treated his son particularly well. He was around, but not really present and was physically abusive.

The story of forgiveness is breathtaking. It was as Nils’ father whispered the words “I forgive you”, that Nils’ grandfather slipped into eternity, seemingly relieved of the burden of ‘hate and resentment’ that was carried by his own son. I postulated to Nils that his own forgiveness to his father had ultimately touched his grandfather. This short film is a collection of stories from three generations of men, on the journey of forgiveness. How inspiring!


Enjoy Father’s Day and all its rewards and capture a picture of your family. Then post it on the Dads4Kids Instagram and use the #dads4kids hashtag. You never know, you could still win the prize. Competition closes 30 September 2015.

Yours for a great Father’s Day
Warwick Marsh

PS: WAR ROOM is a totally amazing movie which has taken everyone by surprise. It was the number one independent Movie last week in its first week here in Australia. I have seen it three times but I still laughed and cried and sometimes both at the same time. Great story, great acting and fantastic script. You simply have to see it for yourself. The first person I rang after seeing the movie on opening night was Will Mitchell. He worked as an assistant director on the Matrix movies. He gave the movie 9 out of 10 which is really saying something. The main subject of the movie is praying for your family and praying for your marriage. It is a gripping story. WAR ROOM also has a strong fatherhood theme. Check out the trailer here.

By |2019-03-05T08:43:15+10:00September 12th, 2015|Dads|0 Comments

About the Author:

Warwick Marsh has been married to Alison Marsh since 1975; they have five children and nine grandchildren, and he and his wife live in Wollongong in NSW, Australia. He is a family and faith advocate, social reformer, musician, TV producer, writer and public speaker.

Warwick is a leader in the Men’s and Family Movement, and he is well-known in Australia for his advocacy for children, marriage, manhood, family, fatherhood and faith. Warwick is passionate to encourage men to be great fathers and to know the greatest Father of all. The Father in Whom “there is no shadow of turning.”

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