Father’s Day in Australia is September 5, 2010

The Origin of Fathers Day.

Father’s Day, was inaugurated in the early 20th century, to complement Mother’s Day and to recognise  the role of Fatheringand the part men play in Parenting.

For some practical commonsense tips on parenting from a battle-scarred but victorious child psychologist check out Nigel Latta’s appropriately titled book: Politically Incorrect Parenting

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From the National Center for Fathering comes a handy guide for dads everywhere – The 7 Secrets of Effective Fathers. Written in both an easy-to-understand and practical manner, this is the first book to analyze the habits and characteristics of fathers across the country…Learn from the secrets gleaned from ordinary dads who are considered by professionals, peers, and their churches to be effective fathers! 244 pages, softcover, from Tyndale House Publishers.

While listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in her church in Spokane, Washington, USA in 1910,Sonora Smart Dodd conceived the idea of a special day to honour Fathers.

When Sonora Smart was only 16 years old, her mother died while giving birth to her sixth child.

Sonora wanted a celebration that honoured fathers like her own father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran who was left to raise his family alone

Sonora’s father was born on the 5th of June, so she wanted to hold the event on that day.  However the first Father’s Day celebration was not held until the 19th of June 1910, in Spokane, Washington (See # below)

Young members of the Young Men’s  Christian Association (YMCA) went to church wearing roses: a red rose for those whose fathers were living and a white rose for those who had died.

There were many attempts to have the day recognised officially but this was resisted for various reasons

Official Recognition of Father’s Day

In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honouring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

Father’s Day is now celebrated all over the world but the date varies from country to country.  It  typically involves giving special Father’s Day cards and presents, , special dinners for fathers and family oriented Father’s Day activities

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In Australia, Father’s Day is remembered on the 1st Sunday in September; this year 2010, it is on the 5th.

#.   A little know fact is that the First modern day observance of Father’s Day actually took place in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908. The special day was organized by Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton, who wanted to celebrate the lives of the 210 fathers who had been lost in the Monongah Mining disaster several months earlier in Monongah, West Virginia, on December 6, 1907. This day was not registered as an official event at the time.  The First Father’s Day Church, now the Central United Methodist Church, still stands in Fairmont today

Historians have recorded that there was a tradition to celebrate Father’s Day even thousands of years ago. Their  records tell us that 4,000 years ago in Babylon, a son called Elmesu carved a father’s day message on a clay card. In his message Elmesu wished his father a long and healthy life. It is not known what happened to Elmesu and his father but it is believed that several countries retained the custom of celebrating Father’s Day.


In my next article I plan to consider the “Role and Responsibility” of being a father and in Part 3 give a tribute to My Father.

I hope that you my reader can remember your father with pride and pleasure and honour him on this Father’s Day.

Doctor Bill

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5 Responses to “Father’s Day in Australia is September 5, 2010”

  • […] Role and Responsibility of Being a Father Posted August 27th 2010 at 6:01 pm by docbill This is Part 2 of my Articles on Father’s Day […]

  • Comment from Angie

    Hi Dr.Bill

    Dad also lost his father when only 11 and became the bread winner for the family, he loved telling us the stories of his many different ways to be a young money earner.
    When we first came out from England in 1965 we went to Perth, but only spent a few months there driving over the Nullarbor Plains to settle in Victoria. I had a beautiful relationship with Dad, we were very lucky….he was busy building up a business, family time was limited, when we had a weekend with Dad home, Mum would plan a picnic or special outing so we could all enjoy ‘ family ‘ time together…great memories. Every Christmas here in Melb. Dad would buy a supply of cigarettes, beer etc and go into the city, spending time with homeless men and giving out presents. I consider myself very, very fortunate to have had quality time with Dad. His love of smoking was his down fall, taken suddenly the morning of my 27th birthday, silly man, only 62 yrs old. A tough lesson to be learned, our health is everything. Thankyou for a 3 fold Father’s Day special…memories, advice and information all the best Angie

  • […] Father’s Day – A Son’s Tribute to a Great Father Posted September 1st 2010 at 10:03 pm by docbill This is Part 3 of my Articles on Father’s Day […]

  • Comment from David Moloney

    Hi Doctor Bill,

    I’ve always wondered why Father’s Day was celebrated on different dates around the World. It must just be a cultural thing. It also never clicked that father’s day was the first Sunday in September. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Comment from Caroline

    Hi Dr Bill,

    I love your article and had always wondered about the origin of Father’s Day. I think Dad’s are very special and they deserve to be celebrated every single day of the year. My Dad definitely has a special place in my heart.


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