Friday, November 9, 2007

Harold "Dutch" Percy Pammett — Lest We Forget

This morning, on Remembrance Day, I'm thinking of my Dad, Harold "Dutch" Percy Pammett, because it was on this day in 1981 that he passed away — on the golf course, living the life that he always wanted to live. Little did I know, at the young age of 61 (I was 30), that for him it was a blessing because he never had to suffer or grow old. For me, the reality was that other than my uncle Gord Pammett... Nov 11, 1981 left me at the root of the Pammett family tree.

Harold "Dutch" Percy Pammett grew up in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. And by some quirk of 25-cent photography, my Mom kept this picture of Dad close to her heart for 40 years. This treasure of a picture was taken by my Mom when "Harold" took her out canoeing, at the young age of 17 — just shortly before Dad served in the Canadian Navy during World War II. He served for 6 long years, keeping the engines running on Destroyers such as The Restigouche, and married Jean Audrey (Carter) Hickey as soon as he got back from liberating Europe.

But we didn't hear very much about the war growing up in Southern Ontario; Dad's mind's eye was always more forward-looking than watching over his shoulder. Dad wanted us kids to grow up, attend university, and live the good life because he never made it beyond the 10th grade. Those were the tough years when common sense and the work ethic prevailed.

Click to activate

the YouTube player

and then
click the "Play" button...

It's A Pittance of Time

They fought and some died

for their homeland,

They fought and some died

now it's our land.

Look at his little child,

there's no fear in her eyes.

Could he not show respect
for other Dads who have died?

Take two minutes — would you mind?
— it's a pittance of time.

For the boys
and the girls
who went over.

In peace may they rest;
may we never forget
why they died.

It's A Pittance of Time.

God forgive me
for wanting
to strike him.

Give me strength
so as not
to be like him.

My heart pounds in my breast,
fingers pressed to my lips.

My throat wants to ball out.

My tongue barely resists.

But two minutes I will bide;
it's a Pittance of time.

For the boys
and the girls
who went over.

In peace may they rest
may we never forget
why they died.

It's A Pittance of Time.

Read the letters
and poems
of the heroes at home.

They have casualties,
and fears of their own.

There's a price to be paid
if you go
if you stay.

Freedom's fought for
and won
in numerous ways.

Take two minutes — would you mind?
— it's a pittance of time.

For the boys
and the girls
all over.

May we never forget
our young ...
become vets
at the end of the line.

It's A Pittance of Time.

It takes courage to fight
in your own war.

It takes courage
to fight someone else's war.

Our peace-keepers tell
of their own living hell.

They bring hope to foreign lands
that hate mongers can't kill.

Take two minutes — would you mind?
— it's a pittance of time.

For the boys
and the girls
who go over.

In peace time our best
still don battle dress
and lay their lives
on the line.

It's A Pittance of Time.

In peace may they rest;
Lest we forget
why they died.

Take A Pittance of Time.

Enjoy the song, provided gratis via YouTube — — by Terry Kelly.

Today I — together with my brother John Hickey, and my sisters Nanci Phelan and Gaye... all remember our Dad with fond memories, love and respect. And we give thanks for the many years that he brought us his support, his security, and his love. "Thank you, Dad!"


Sharisse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sharisse said...

I'm sure your dad was a fantastic man and dad because you are a fantastic dad/uncle! Your tribute was very nice and it is cool to see he shares the same love for the outdoors as you!


mgordon06 said...

Kevin -

I was deeply moved by the video and by the content of your blog - your thoughts - your remembrance. You do your father proud.

I was so deeply moved - to tears in fact - when I watched the video. I am not one to be speechless - but I could not muster any words -

My tears were flowing reminding me that in the 17 years since my dad passed away - not at war - doing what he loved - fighting for those who needed to be treated fairly - I have not stood up for him at any parade at any celebration -

I don't know why - it wasn't important - I didn't see the relevance - yet all it would take is a pittance of my time. To stand up for him - my man - my father.

I salute you and your father and commit to paying tribute to mine and thanking him for giving me in life and in death the many gifts that I know I still have not recognized...

Thank you for reminding me and all of us that regardless of a border men are men, and dads are dads...

Thank you for reminding us that the boys who fight are fighting for our freedom and our liberty.

Thank you for reminding us that our time on earth is precious and we need to celebrate and care for each other - brothers and sisters all.

Thank you. You do your father proud!

Craig said...

Thanks, Pammett--
I had neither seen this video nor heard much about your dad.
I was sitting here at 9A on this Veteran's Day with tears streaming down my face. My uncle (still alive) was wounded in the Pacific, my dad (long departed) was in the Air Force, and my nephew is in Iraq right now.
Thanks for helping me connect with all of them.

Sully said...

wow, thanks Jonesy for sending this out. Kevin, tha's really great.
thank you.


Nice to read this again and hear the lovely song and video we discovered back then, back when Johnny was still with us. At bridge today in a friend's home we all stood for the 11:00 memorial on the radio and also listened to A Pittance of Time. We all shed a few tears. We also heard Never Again, which is the Remembrance Day song that is new to me and moves me this year. Thanks for your phone call. It was a day just like this one that Dad passed away, and made our world a lot sadder.

hold-em_student said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Copp said...

I remember Tommy, my cousin. He died in Viet Nam Dec. '69. I remember him as a vibrant 21 still.
Joe Copp

Gary Boutin said...

My Father Philip L Boutin a Korean war vet. Passed away 11/11/90 twenty one years ago on 11/11/11. Thank you Dad! Your son Gary.