Iconic Dads Like You and Me, with Sir Graham Lowe
Each month we interview high profile men who are also dads, and ask them a set of thought provoking questions on fatherhood. The fathers interviewed in this project have agreed to contribute to the collective knowledge of what it means to be a good dad in our society. This month we interview Sir Graham Lowe, father, iconic rugby league coach, and founder of the Lowie Foundation.
Sir Graham Lowe enjoyed international success as a high profile rugby league coach. Since returning to New Zealand, Graham turned his talents in motivating others to succeed, to supporting youth and young adults through the Lowie Foundation. Since 2015, the foundations 'kick for the seagulls' prison program has supported over 500 young men to gain NCEA level 2 foundation studies, literacy and numeracy.
1. In your role as a dad, what is the thing you are most proud of?
Answer: Just watching my children develop their potential.
2. What quality or attitude woke up in you when you became a dad, that wouldn’t have happened otherwise?
Answer: My kids inserted a new program into my soul and provided me a level of confidence I couldn't have imagined.
3. What is it that each of your children respect and love the most in you as their dad?
Answer: You would need to ask them, but they know I love them unconditionally, and to me that is the main thing.
4. If you could go back and give yourself a piece of advice just before having your first child, what would it be?
Answer: When my daughters were born I was in my mid 20s and making my way in life, I was focused too much on material things. When my twin sons where born I was in my late 50s and way more relaxed. It makes no difference, I love my two daughters and twin sons now just as if they were born this morning. But I wouldn't change a thing. As a parent, you adapt and learn on the way. I'm 75 this year and looking back, I'm happy.
"It makes no difference, I love my two daughters and twin sons now just as if they were born this morning"
5. If you could go back and give your own dad some advice just before you were born, what would it be?
Answer: I don't think you can do that. We all just need to be ourselves, everyone else is taken. I believe this applies to dads as well.
6. What are some attributes that your own dad had, that you’ve been able to model?
Answer: Ordinary people can make it, you don't need to follow others. Trust in your ability, and back your own judgement.
7. At what time in your life did you most need your dad? And what was it that you needed from him at that time?
Answer: My dad died when I was in my late teens. My dad was unable to see me grow into a man. I've never had closure since the day he died and I still need and miss him every day, just to be my dad.
"I still need and miss him every day, just to be my dad"
8. Is there a quality that your own dad had that you would like more of?
Answer: My dad always wanted me to be my own person, nothing has changed in my thinking, I am my own man.
9. What did your dad do that you will not do yourself as a dad?
Answer: It was not his fault that he died at 41 years old, but I hope and pray I am able to see my boys grow into men.
10. What is it that you most want (or would want) your son to learn from you on being a male, a man, a father? How does he learn that?
Answer: My twin boys have their own personalities as I have mine, these personalities we are all blessed with. But it is very important to respect yourself and all others. To always demonstrates good manners. Have pride in yourself and aim high with your dreams.
11. What is it that you most want (or would want) your daughter to learn from you about men? How does she learn that?
Answer: Exactly the same as the boys.
12. What would you like dads in our society to wake up to?
Answer: To realise that there is no better role in our lives than being a good dad.
"to realise that there is no better role in our lives than being a good dad"
If you found these questions and answers thought provoking and relevant to your own dad journey, we'd love to hear about it in the comments below.
© Parent Village ltd 2020