…the white cliffs of Dover. This was the song that greeted Dad on the phone each time Jack MacArthy phoned him. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUx3MU9iM6c&feature=related
Jack and Dad, Flight Lieutenant William James Duff, went back a long way. I wish that I had payed more attention to details about him when Dad talked about him – as now I simply don’t have the answers.
What I do know is that when my son, Ben, and I introduced ourselves to Jack at the George Duff Memorial Legion in New Lowell today – Jack greeted us with a very wide smile. “Oh, my. I’m so glad that you spoke to me. I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad. He was a very good man. And your Mom, Paula, she was very beautiful. I ran into she and your Dad many times in Barrie when my wife Helen and Paula were having their blood work done. “, said Jack.
“My Dad remembered you always, Jack, so fondly. I always knew when you had called because Dad was sure to tell me. But, what I don’t know is what song it was that you used to sing to him.”
And Jack began to sing, “There’ll be bluebirds over the white cliffs of Dover”.
How wonderful it was to hear that song. Jack’s chest was literally covered with medals of honour. He is 93. He looked great. What a spirit. What a voice.
Jack MacArthy, of New Lowell, introduced me to his family and he to mine. It was clear that Ben, my son, was not of the “Duff” blood as he towers over all of us and Jack noted this difference. “How proud he was of all of you. He spoke so often of you and your family, Stacey, that I know all about them. ” Jack commented.
It was an honour to be there in New Lowell today. It was a necessary. We were representing not only Dad, but his Dad – George Hunt Duff – after whom the New Lowell legion was named. Their photos hung in prominent places both in the Legion and in our hearts.
To Dad and Grandpa – we salute you and thank-you for your contributions to family and country. In peace may you rest, may we never forget.