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Thursday, 4 August 2016

Happy Birthday Dad!






I've posted this photograph of my parents stepping out on their wedding day before, but I'm including it again here, because it is a fair match for the Sepia Saturday #342 prompt photograph above of musical stars Madge and Cyril, minus the flamboyance and the wind factor, and also because today (5 August) would have been my father Ian's 92nd birthday. 



Ian Alfred Murray Cruickshank married Jean Margaret Morrison at St David's Church Sydenham in Christchurch NZ on 22 April 1950.


Mum and Dad have both featured quite a lot in my blog, and I also previously posted a letter written to my maternal grandmother Mona by her cousin Nellie, describing the successful and enjoyable wedding celebration of Jean and Ian in great detail, which you can read here.

Jean and Ian were happily married for almost 50 years before Ian passed away from pancreatic cancer on 17 February 2000, aged 75. Here is an extract from an obituary for Ian written by A D Thomson and published in the New Zealand Journal for Crop and Horticultural Science in 2000.


The death of Dr Ian Cruickshank in Australia on 17 February 2000 marked the passng of a pioneer New Zealand plant pathologist who was a University of Canterbury and Lincoln University graduate and after graduation was on the staff of the former DSIR at Lincoln. Ian moved to the CSIRO's Division of Plant Industry in Canberra in 1956 where he established an international reputation for his studies on a mechanism of the resistance of plants to disease. He discovered and characterised phytoalexins which are produced in plants as a response to infection by fungal pathogens. Ian was born in Rangiora and educated at Rangiora Primary School and Rangiora High School. His father, Mr O. D. Cruickshank, was well known in North Canterbury as the District Health Inspector. Ian graduated BSc in 1947 and his subjects included: Botany I, II, III; Chemistry I, II; Physics I; and Zoology I. Ian graduated MSc in Botany in 1948 with Second Class Honours from Canterbury University College and Lincoln Agricultural College where his MSc research was supervised by Dr I. D. Blair (1912-89) in the Department of Microbiology. Ian's MSc thesis was entitled "Studies on fungus causing a leaf blotch disease of peas (Pisum sativum)" and was published in 1949 as "Studies on a fungus (Septoria pisi Westend.) causing a foliage disease of peas (Pisum sativum L.)" in the New Zealand Journal of Science and Technology (Cruickshank 1949) and this was Ian's first publication. In 1964 Ian was awarded a DSc by the University of Canterbury for his published research on host-pathogen relationships and his thesis was entitled "Some physiological aspects of host-parasite relationships"


 Dad didn't discuss his work at home very much, and as a child I simply knew he worked in the area of plant diseases, and that he sometimes had to go out to work in the middle of the night to attend to his experiments in the lab. Jean founded an annual science prize in honour of Ian at Rangiora High School, where his science master had inspired him to follow a scientific career.
Alfred and Murray were the middle names of Ian's two grandfathers, Thomas Alfred Byles and Charles Murray Cruickshank. I wonder whether my grandparents thought about the fact that their son's initials would be I AM Cruickshank. Probably not.

Mum and Dad were loving and caring parents and grandparents to their three children and nine grandchildren, and would also have very much enjoyed their four, soon to be five, great grandchildren. We all remember them both with love and affection. I often wish that I could still ask them for their advice and wisdom. If only!


A favourite photograph of Dad with one of our boys, taken on a family picnic in June 1985.


Family members celebrating  Ian's 70th birthday on 5 August 1994,
                                     

                                 
                                                             Happy Birthday Dad! 

                                                                           

18 comments:

  1. A lovely tribute to your dad. My dad also passed away far too early - at 72. I've already outlived him by 4 years. Kind of odd to think that way. :)

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  2. It is a pity your dad passed away so soon but you still have these pictures and your memories to be cherished.

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  3. I echo other comments, Jo - a beautifully written tribute to your father. My favourite photographs are the one with your little son, and the final one with your mother. Your Dad looked so distinguished with his good head of hair.

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    1. Our son who was the little boy my father was holding reminds me that on one occasion someone at a restaurant came up and congratulated Dad on his fine head of hair. It might even have been at that 70th birthday dinner :-) I think said son hopes he'll take after his maternal grandfather in that respect, rather than his paternal grandfather, who was balding at 30.

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  4. I like the photo of your father and son too. In the wedding photo they both look happy and he looks very, very tall.

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    1. Dad was 6'3", Mum was 5'2", so quite a difference. Her girlfriends joked that he was too tall for her but she wasn't put off.

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  5. You had a great Dad. So clever. Your parents were married on my late brother's birthday.

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  6. A very nice tribute to your dad. I like that you can see he wore his hair the same way throughout the years.

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    1. Yes, only the colour changed and he never had to worry that he might become bald!

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  7. What a distinguished looking gentleman your Dad was, and a lovely tribute Jo. Wonderful photos and your Aunt Mona's letter was so detailed!

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    1. Yes, my grandmother Mona's cousin Nellie must have been a great letter-writer.

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  8. A lovely tribute to your parents. They look like a very happy couple.

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  9. So lovely to read about your Dad, Jo. I'm sad not to have met him, but really enjoy the stories.

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  10. One of the reasons I like Alan's and Marilyn's eclectic themes for Sepia Saturday is the way it inspires creative posts like this one. The coincidence of images, events, and dates introduces us to some lovely people every weekend. I'm pleased to get to meet your dad.

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  11. Your father looks as distinguished as his CV shows that he was. Did his "tall" genes get passed along?

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  12. I was drawn to him as soon as I saw the first photo. How wonderful to find he was such a very interesting man. A nice commentary to leave about him.

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  13. Your Dad certainly cuts a fine figure, but it’s the smiling grandfather shot where his personality really shows through.

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  14. Jo, the wedding photo is lovely. Such a handsome couple, and so they were throughout their lives. I love their smiles.

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