Laughing all the way: Comedian Nadanja Bailey with his sister Nishanti Bailey and his father Wendell ‘Shine’ Hayward. *Photo supplied
Laughing all the way: Comedian Nadanja Bailey with his sister Nishanti Bailey and his father Wendell ‘Shine’ Hayward. *Photo supplied

What does your dad mean to you? 

For many of us he is the most important man in our lives.

On Sunday many of us will take him out to dinner, buy him a tie, cologne or some sort of golf paraphernalia. 

Our fathers have been there from day one — guiding us, giving us advice and most importantly loving us unconditionally.

We spoke to singer Gita Blakeney-Saltus, funny man Nadanja Bailey and triathlete Tyler Butterfield about their dads.

We asked them the same three questions: What is the best advice your father gave you, what trait have you inherited that you are grateful for and why and what is your fondest memory of you and your father?

Gita Blakeney-Saltus 

Father: St Clair Blakeney

Throughout my life my father has imparted much advice and counsel, the most precious is his advice as it pertains to handling adversity. 

He always advised me that even in the worst of times I should always carry myself with dignity and that my appearance should always be a reflection of how I want to be perceived. 

He encouraged me to see the best in people, and advised that I should treat people of all walks of life with respect. 

We share an appreciation of the prose called ‘Desiderata’ which in part reads — ‘As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons…You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here’.

Another great piece of advice relating to my driving skills was that ‘I should drive as if the other person is a fool’.  

I love that one because it has served me well over the years and I would like to think that I’m a better driver because of it .

My father has a wonderful engaging personality, a love of many genres of music including classical and jazz, and a beautiful command of the English language. 

These qualities and his “joi de vivre” have become much of who I am and have shaped who I am yet to become. People always remark that I remind them so much of my dad.

My fondest memory with my dad was when  he walked me down the aisle on my wedding day on May 17 — ten years ago. It is a moment that I will cherish. 

Another great memory that I have was when my father took me to see the first Rocky movie in 1976. The movie and the story of a boxer who rises from a very humble existence, and his will to become a champion impacted me.  

I can vividly recall my father explaining the term “ underdog” and its context within the film. 

It’s interesting how these moments affect you and stay with you forever. 

Nadanja Bailey

Father: Wendell ‘Shine’ Hayward

My father told me to go to college to get a degree but do what makes me happy and what I love to do.

He also told me to make a lot of money but while I am  making it, I have to spend it as well, because when I die it all will go to my ungrateful children.

I have inherited the trait to put a smile on people’s faces. My daddy is good with words.

My fondest memory would be when I took him on a cruise to the Bahamas and we went to the Captain’s party with free drinks of Manhattans. 

I had never had one before and I told my daddy I could out drink him. 

Well, the cruise only went from Miami to Bahamas but apparently for two days he laughed at me because I went to Europe a few times. 

It was a good cruise but I’ve learned never challenge those who are older than you to a drinking challenge. Good times. 

Tyler Butterfield 

Father: Jim Butterfield

My dad told me to work hard and follow your dreams, but above all be honest, kind and a gentleman. He told me I will be known for how I do things as much as what I do.

I love that my dad has taught me to be honest. I am thankful for this trait, as I couldn’t imagine going through life with secrets or hiding things.

I would be hard pressed to pick one memory as my fondest. 

However, I am always happy when I make my dad proud. 

Now as a father myself, I would be hard pressed to know my one happiest moment with my daughter. 

But I do now understand the feeling of looking at your child and being proud. It is the best feeling in the world.

So I would say the moments I look at dad and know I have made him proud. It is a nice feeling.