The late Arthur and Bunny Knight
I have never written about my father before today. Years of pent up anger, lost years and words have created a mental block that has stopped me writing about a man that I felt never understood me. Today, after all these years I realize that even though I hate to admit it, I might just be a ‘chip off the old block’ as they say.
My late father and I were always at battle because I never knew where he was coming from, and he wondered why his daughter was always different than everyone else in thought, word and deed.
Arthur John Knight could never figure out why his daughter had to dress differently and was always protesting the Vietnam War. I came from a family that fought the World Wars in trenches, got gassed in France and helped found a Canadian Legion Branch in Cowansville Quebec- so I was expected to carry on a tradition. My Dad figured a stint in the Canadian Women’s Army might give me some stability and knock that “yeah yeah yeah (Beatles) business” out of me.
Branch number 99 Cowansville Quebec
Well, I quit school, left home at 15 1/2 and made my way into the fashion world for a good part of my life. The closest I got to a military career was when I dressed in military surplus fashions in the 70s.
One thing I always respected my father for was for his dedication to his community. He was a town alderman, deputy mayor and very active in the Canadian Legion, Lions Club, and the local Masonic Lodge. My Dad devoted a good part of his life attempting to improve the town of Cowansville, Quebec and to the 21st Premier of Quebec, Jean Jacques Bertrand. He was never into photo-ops, nor doing things in a very public way. Humble, driven, and unlike his daughter, he did things very quietly for the small rural town.
Like myself, Arthur trusted every single person he came into contact with and ended up losing a 50-year-old family electrical contracting business in the 70s. The reason the business ravelled away was because he gave so many people credit. When customers didn’t have the money, he would tell them not to worry about it-to pay him when they could. It eventually caught up with him, but his suppliers and customers never forgot him and made sure that he was alright.
Today, I realize that I might be my father’s daughter, and I wish I had a second chance. But, really sometimes you don’t deserve another chance if you haven’t learned from your first mistakes. Maybe time wasn’t ready for the first one- but next time I see him after I’m gone we can begin again and make a new ending.
Happy Father’s Day Dad- sorry it took so long to figure it out and I just kept running up that hill without thinking..
In memory of Arthur John Knight 1924-1982