I submitted these images to the Globe and Mail at 5:03pm MDT on Friday May 31. Dad passed away 8 hours later, a few minutes after 1am MDT on June 1st. This memory of my dad, the adventurer that got us to this wonderful country and without whom we would not have survived, is all the more powerful now. I love you very much dad.
– Al-Karim Walli.
The image on the left was taken by my dad on October 6th 1976. We were celebrating my sister’s birthday (she is cutting her birthday cake, flanked by my other two sisters and mom behind them) on the side of a highway in Austria. You can see our VW Kombi in the background with all of our belongings on top. My courageous dad had us embark on this road trip from South Asia to Spain, where he had been told we could get a visa to Canada. The trip took us through parts of Central Asia, the Middle East, as well as virtually all of Europe from East to West. Indeed, in March of 1977 we arrived in Canada and have been proud Canadians ever since. The little boy in the picture is me.
The two others in the picture in addition to all I’ve already mentioned are my dad’s sister (dark shirt) and her daughter (striped shirt).
On the right is a picture of my dad taken for his engagement to my mom in 1954 in Tanzania (59 years this year!).
Dad was born June 15th 1934, the anniversary of which will always be Father’s Day in my heart. While he is older now, whenever I think of him and even when I am with him, it is this image that I see.
Young, strong, ambitious and adventurous, and my hero.
The Globe and Mail has published above on their Facebook page as part of a set of photos about dads, the idea being, the one getting the most likes will be published in their Father’s Day edition. Please consider clicking the following link to the Globe’s Facebook page, and clicking LIKE (make sure you like the photo on their page, and not the comment about it):
Al-Karim Walli is an associate director and a co-author of the book: Hearts, Minds & Vision: Roots of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta.