The wonderful man I know as my dad
Bermuda, I wish to introduce you to my father, Larry Woolgar. Many may know him from his time as a men’s clothing buyer and manager for The English Sports Shop, Aston & Gunn and Gibbons Company. Alternatively, you may know him from the lovely story written about his time sizing John Lennon for a suit — I certainly heard that one many times.
You may have known him in recent years as a businessman who has owned a cleaning company since I was a little one. Or perhaps he is also known as that guy who said whatever he was thinking and believed, “bordering internet troll” to the point of being banned from commenting on The Royal Gazette blogs.
I know him as my dad.
What I do not want him known for is the home-invasion attack he experienced in 2013. I remember it all too well as his only kid — and it was not his legacy, but perhaps his demise.
He taught me so much in my life. He raised me while I was a teenager, as a single father, as my mother and he shared custody of me. He ensured I had everything I needed, like a good education. He held me accountable for my teenage, and if I am being honest, young adult “stupidity”. He was never my friend, he was always my parent. I, of course, did my due diligence and put him through hell as a teen and, boy, did he like to remind me over the years.
He showed me love and support in ways any kid would want, but perhaps I did not understand during that adolescent age. He taught me all about work ethic, the value of a dollar and working hard, going out there and never being afraid to go after what you want.
He also taught me about music. From the Beatles, to Elton John or David Bowie — there was never a Sunday without some rock legend blasting from our living room while he played along with the bass guitar. He also enjoyed working out to my 1990s Nirvana albums. A cool dad indeed.
His humour and his laugh were infectious. I can remember so many times he and I would laugh at something silly on TV to the extent of not being able to breathe. We continued that comedic relationship together up until the very end.
In the past ten years, he watched me get married, buy a house, finish a master’s degree and become successful in my chosen career. He also saw me become a mum to my beautiful twin daughters, Aurora and Freya, aged 17 months. I am so grateful he was able to come and meet them last year, which was his first and his last. He loved animals and I made sure to take him to meet some miniature donkeys while here.
He was my biggest fan and, although there were many times where we didn’t see eye to eye, we both never backed down from talking about it and reminded each other that despite this, “I love you”.
So for all of you who have memories of my dad and have shared them, thank you so much. He continues to shine on in my beautiful children and in my heart. Dad, I will continue to carry on what you built, I will continue your legacy, as will your grandchildren. He will never be forgotten by me and I hope that I continue to make him proud.
I end with pictures I wanted to share and lyrics from a song we danced to at my wedding:
“I know it’s not much but it’s the best I can do
My gift is my song and this one’s for you
And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind
I hope you don’t mind ... that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world”
— Your Song (Elton John)
Much love from his “Pooh Bear”.